Home Pakistan NAB pledges to complete probe against Miftah in 14 days – Pakistan

NAB pledges to complete probe against Miftah in 14 days – Pakistan

NAB pledges to complete probe against Miftah in 14 days - Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The National Office of Accountability (NAB) pledged on Friday to an accountability court to complete the investigation against former finance minister Miftah Ismail in the next 14 days.

The interim judge of the accountability court Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan, with the safety of the NAB investigative officer, extended Mr. Ismail's pretrial detention until September 12.

NAB presented Mr. Ismail to Judge Hassan, seeking the extension of Mr. Ismail's physical prison for another 14 days.

The NAB prosecutor, Sohail Arif, argued before the court that the investigation team required their custody for further investigation in connection with the "investigation against the authorities, including the minister of oil and natural resources, and other secretaries related to the Illegal award of the LNG Terminal-1 contract to Engro Energy Terminal Private Limited. "

The prosecutor also said that a co-defendant, PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, had also been sent to NAB to investigate the same case.

Ismail's lawyer, Haider Waheed, opposed the extension of his client's judicial detention. He said it had been a month since Miftah had been in NAB custody and that there was no progress in the investigation against him.

The court extends the pretrial detention of the former finance minister until September 12

He said the investigating officer had told him that there were some people who could register their statements in connection with the investigation and that the office needed Ismail custody for a few more days.

The lawyer said that NAB had reduced the freedom of a citizen under the assumption that the so-called witnesses could testify against Ismail, which was against fundamental rights.

When the judge asked this of the NAB investigation officer, he said that some directors of the Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) had contacted the office and had given their consent to cooperate with the investigation team on the matter. He said that none of the SSGC directors later appeared before the investigation team.

However, the NAB investigator assured the court that he would complete Mr. Ismail's investigation upon expiration of the 14-day physical detention.

After the expiration of the preventive detention, the judge would send Mr. Ismail to jail for judicial detention that would allow him to submit the petition for bail after the arrest, since during the physical detention a defendant could not request a release under bail.

Similarly, Judge Hassan also extended the pretrial detention of Sheikh Imran ul Haq, former managing director of Pakistan State Oil (PSO).

Salman Akram Raja, Mr. Haq's lawyer, argued that his client had no role in awarding the contract. He said that Haq had only published an ad in search of offers for the project.

He said Haq, 62, had been deprived of a reunion with his family, especially with his 85-year-old mother.

When the judge requested a commitment from the investigating officer regarding the completion of the investigation within 14 days, the latter said he would try to conclude the investigation, but expressed the possibility that it could take longer.

Raja asked the court to direct NAB to facilitate a meeting between Haq and his relatives, as well as with lawyers.

The court issued directives in this regard and extended his preventive detention for 14 days.

Published on Dawn, August 31, 2019

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1502719/nab-pledges-to-complete-probe-against-miftah-in-14-days



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