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May 7, 2016

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Court frames charges against Dr Asim in Rs462 billion corruption case

 

KARACHI: An accountability court (AC) on Friday indicted former petroleum minister and a Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Dr Asim Hussain and five others for being involved in corruption of Rs462 billion.

As the court read out the allegations and termed Dr Asim Hussain and others as accused, Dr Asim Hussain immediately pleaded not guilty. He said that he was innocent and had committed no corruption and all the documents presented by NAB were false and fake and had nothing to do with reality.He further claimed that he was being victimised for political purposes.

The court then fixed May 14 to hear the evidence of the prosecution witnesses against Dr Asim Hussain and five other accused, former petroleum secretary Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry, the then adviser to finance group and sitting administrator of Ziauddin Medical Centre (Dubai), Abdul Hameed, former chief executive officer of Karachi Dock Labour Board, Safdar Hussain,executive officer of Karachi Dock Labour Board, Safdar Hussain; and two former KDA directors, Syed Athar Hussain and Masood Haider Jaffri. 

These five accused were termed as “facilitators” in corrupt deeds of Dr Asim Hussain, a close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari.  The reference for which the six men were indicted pertained to the charges of land grabbing, encroachment of government lands, kickbacks and commission regarding gas supply, misuse of authority and government organizations and misuse of funds of the KPT workers regarding insurance. 

Dr Asim Hussain is alleged to have misused his authority and fraudulently got plots and even encroached upon the government (state) lands in order to expand Dr Ziauddin Hospital and the Trust got illegal gains, committed money laundering and received kickbacks unlawfully. 

He is also facing charges of receiving huge commission from a fertilizer cartel because of an “exploitative price hike” and the prosecution accused him of being a “black-marketer” who committed fraud with the public in the name of a charity hospital.

During the proceedings, Dr Asim Hussain kept repeating his claim about his innocence. Upon this repetition the court expressed its displeasure and directed him not to disturb the court by repeating his claim and to keep quiet. Then Dr Asim Hussain tendered his apology and maintained silence.   

The AC of IV Judge Saad Qureshi, while considering the plea of Dr Asim Hussain and other accused who pleaded not guilty, ordered issuance of notices to the prosecution witnesses for recording their testimonies on May 14.

 

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