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January 23, 2015

Gilani, Amin Fahim to be indicted on February 19 in TDAP scam case


January 23, 2015

The charges against former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, former federal minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim and other co-accused will be framed in the Federal Anti-Corruption Court (FACC) on February 19 in the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) scam case.
The charges, to be presented in the court of Muhammad Azeem Awan, were to be presented on Thursday but the hearing was adjourned because of the absence of five co-accused in the case.
The PPP leaders, former and serving officials of the TDAP and some private individuals had been accused of approving and disbursing fraudulent trade subsidies worth millions of rupees to several fake companies through fictitious claims and backdated cheques.
Including Gillani and Fahim, former deputy secretary to Prime Minister’s Secretariat Mohammad Zubair, TDAP former director Farhan Junejo, Faisal Siddique, Mehr Haroon Rasheed, Mian Tariq, Zafar Hussain, Noman Siddiqui, Syed Mohibullah Shah and others had been declared absconders. However, many had been granted bail after approaching the court.
In the meantime, the court on Thursday confirmed the interim bail of Makhdoom Amin Fahim exempted him from appearing in court.
Former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has already been granted exemption from appearance in 12 corruption cases pertaining to the TDAP scam.
Both leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party have been granted interim bail in 12 cases against a sum of Rs1.7 million.
The FACC, once in 2014, had issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of Gillani and Fahim for not appearing in court. However, later both approached the court and moved bail applications which were granted, with a warning to keep appearing in court so charges against them could be framed.
However, till now, due to the absence of some of the other co-accused, the process was deferred again till February 19.
The court also issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of absconding accused, including

the former TDAP director Farhan Junejo, and a close aide to the then federal minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim.
The attorneys for former premier and minister while pleading the cases had claimed that both leaders had been implicated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in false cases as part of political victimisation.
The FIA had submitted seven charge sheets against the PPP leaders, raising the number of cases filed against them to 11, leading to the matter being called “Scam 11”.
In an earlier hearing, the presiding officer had accepted all the final charge sheets submitted by the FIA and issued non-bailable warrants against Gillani, Fahim and other co-accused. He had also directed the FIA to arrest and produce the accused in court on June 17. However, later the matter was settled when both leader made their appearance in the FACC.
Gillani’s lawyers had told the court that the FIA had submitted a false report against him and requested the court to grant him bail at this stage of the trial. The court had granted the plea after hearing the lawyers’ arguments against a sum of Rs1.7 million.
The FIA had also nominated former TDAP chairman Tariq Iqbalpuri, former director-general Javed Anwar, Abdul Karim Daud and former project manager Mirchumal Khatri in the case. At a previous hearing, the court had been informed that the wife of Iqbalpuri was seriously ill and he had to accompany her abroad for medical treatment.

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