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Tuesday December 07, 2021

PML-N leader Khawaja Asif’s physical remand extended by 10 days

January 14, 2021

LAHORE: An Accountability Court (AC) on Wednesday extended 10-day physical remand of PML-N leader Khawaja Asif, an accused of assets beyond means and money laundering. The NAB officials produced Khawaja Asif before the Accountability Court Judge Jawad Ul Hassan.

The NAB’s Prosecutor Asim Mumtaz requested the court to extend 15-day physical remand of the accused. Asim informed the court that during the course of investigation it was revealed that Khawaja Asif had transferred money into a company account, which was owned by his servant.

The prosecutor further claimed that one Tariq Meer, owner of a company ‘Tariq Meer and Company’ in his statement, has confessed that said company is a ‘Benami’ company of Khawaja Asif. The prosecutor told the court that Tariq Meer and two others deposited Rs510.17 million in the company account, but Asif failed to disclose the source of income.

To this the judge questioned that then who was withdrawing the money. To which prosecutor replied that Tariq and two other persons namely Akbar and Abdul Mateen made the withdrawals.

The judge again questioned the prosecutor what’s the issue if the other persons deposited the amount and made withdrawals. To which prosecutor replied that millions were also deposited in Khawaja’s accounts and Bureau yet has to investigate it and for the same seeking further physical custody of the accused.

The prosecutor said that Khawaja Asif committed money laundering as he is not providing details of Rs130 million, sent by a foreign company.

Khawaja Asif was taking a regular income from a Dubai based company but did not provide a bank statement, prosecutor added. Prosecutor claimed that during the course of investigation Khawaja Asif accepted that he was withdrawing a salary, but could not provide any supporting evidence for the claim.

On the other hand Farooq H. Naek, counsel of Khawaja Asif, argued that his client had declared his assets and income. The counsel alleged that his client has been nominated in a politically motivated case. He claimed that inquiry against his client was initiated by the NAB Rawalpindi in 2019 and later transferred it to Lahore office after Pindi Bureau failed to find anything against his client.

On this the judge asked Naek who was in power at the time. To which it was informed that the PTI was ruling in 2019. “Had the long march started by then?” the judge asked and remarked. The remarks of the judged sparkled laughter in the courtroom.

To judge’s comment Naek responded by saying the opposition's agitation had just begun. To which, the judge told the lawyer that an inquiry against a suspect can be initiated at any time.

However, Naek kept on arguing, saying that his client had declared everything and after declaration its an issue of the FBR. Under CrPC Section 172 it is mandatory for investigation officer to maintain investigation diary and the court should seek investigation diary from the Bureau to look what kind of investigation has been made so far against his client, Naek requested the court.

The judge, after hearing arguments from prosecution and Khawaja Asif reserved the judgment on remand matter for a while. Later, the court extended 10 days physical remand of Khawaja Asif by January 22.