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March 13, 2018

Graft case hearing against Dr Asim put off


March 13, 2018

An accountability court on Monday adjourned the hearing of a Rs462 billion corruption reference against former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain and other co-accused till March 17.

In Monday’s hearing, the court allowed the attorneys of the accused to cross-examine a prosecution witness, Muhammad Hussain, who had earlier confirmed the allegations NAB has leveled on the accused.

However, the accused’s attorneys argued with the witness and termed his allegations false. The court then adjourned the hearing and directed the NAB prosecution team to produce other witnesses on March 17.

Dr Asim Hussain, a former minister and close aide to former president Asif Ali Zardari, is being tried in an accountability court along with former natural resources secretary Ejaz Chaudhry, Karachi Dock Labour Board’s former CEO Safdar Hussain, KDA’s ex-directors Syed Athar Hussain and Masood Haider Jaffery, and Ziauddin Group finance director Abdul Hameed are facing the Rs462 billion corruption reference. The charges against them include land fraud amounting to Rs9.5 billion, money laundering amounting to Rs3 billion and misuse of authority, criminal breach of trust through a fertiliser scam of Rs450 billion.

Dr Asim is also facing another reference along with others for having committed corruption of around Rs17 billion. He is also facing a case in an anti-terrorism court (ATC) along with political leaders of different parties for having assisted some criminals and outlaws by providing them medical treatment at his hospitals. All the accused are on bail in all three cases.

Meanwhile, the judicial magistrate (Malir) allowed a suspected killer of six people to rush to Thatta on a two-day Rahdari Remand (transit remand).

Ghulam Rasool, a former cop, was produced by the Quaidabad police, which informed the court that the suspected killer had murdered a police officer in Hyderabad and later also killed five other people in different areas of Jaffarabad and Thatta. Police added that he was involved in several other cases in other cities. The court allowed transit remand of the accused so that he can be taken to Thatta to be produced in a court there in a murder case.

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