Tuesday June 06, 2023

Axact CEO remanded in FIA custody for three days

March 11, 2023

ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court here on Friday granted three-day remand of Axact Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shoaib Shaikh in a bribery case filed against him.

The accused was presented before the court after he was arrested by the FIA for allegedly giving Rs5 million as bribe to the then additional district and sessions judge Pervaizul Qadir Memon for getting acquittal in a fake degree case.

During the hearing, the prosecutor informed the court that the statement of judge Pervaiz Qadir was part of an appeal in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). A trial court had convicted Shaikh and other co-accused and the judge had confessed to having received bribe before two judges of the IHC.

Defence lawyer Latif Khosa questioned the delayed proceedings into the matter, saying the inquiry was conducted in 2018 and action was being taken now after five years.

“Verbal statement cannot be considered confessional statement,” he argued.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Judicial Magistrate Umar Bashir gave the FIA three-day physical remand of Shoaib Shaikh.

According to an FIA spokesperson, the Axact CEO paid bribe for acquittal in a case registered against him under the fake degree scam in Islamabad’s Cybercrime Circle.

The spokesperson added that the agency had started investigating Shaikh following his arrest. The judge, too, was nominated in the case against Shaikh, the FIA added.

Shaikh was summoned on February 15, 2023, in connection with the bribe case; however, he did not appear before the investigation team.

Memon had acquitted Shaikh, the CEO of Axact company which made billions of dollars by selling fake degrees worldwide, in the fake degrees scam on Oct 31, 2016.

Later, the judge was sacked on February 15, 2018, by the IHC as he confessed before a departmental promotion committee that he had received bribe for acquitting the accused.

The IHC division bench, in April 2018, had set aside the October 31, 2016 acquittal order passed by Memon.

Meanwhile, a case had been filed against the CEO of Axact under the Pakistan Penal Code and the Anti-Bribery Act with the FIA at the request of the IHC registrar.