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Another corruption reference filed against Dr Asim

KARACHI: The accountability court on Saturday accepted the filing of a new corruption reference against former federal minister and PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain.

The corruption reference filed today by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) relates to corrupt practices with in the state-owned Sui Southern Gas Company.

Asim did not attend the hearing scheduled for today, with his counsel citing medical and psychiatric problems. In addition, jail authorities claim that the Zardari–aide is suffering from seizures.

Saad Qureshi, presiding the hearing as both the accountability and administrative judge, asked the defence counsel of Asim to submit a detailed medical report during the next hearing, scheduled for March 17, as the prime accused did not attend the hearing.

Under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) section 265C, Asim was to be presented with documents today, which would have detailed the allegations he stands accused of in order for him to completely understand the allegations leveled against him.

Due to his absence, he will be presented with the documents at the next hearing.

Asim was also to be presented in an anti-terrorism court, but jail authorities submitted a medical report informing the court regarding the former federal ministers absence from the hearing.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Waseem Akhtar has had his bail extended, with the court adjourning the case against him till the next hearing scheduled for March 11.

The court had earlier ordered Investigating Officer (IO) Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP) Altaf Hussain to arrest and produce the absconders ─ Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Waseem Akhtar, Anis Qaimkhani, Saleem Shahzad, PPP’s Qadir Patel and Pasban leader Usman Moazzam ─ before the court.

The arrest of Dr Hussain, chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission, came on Aug 26 and was described as the first major action against PPP leaders during the ongoing Karachi operation.

Following the end of his 90-day preventive detention with Rangers, police sought multiple extensions in his remand for further questioning and collection of evidence in a case relating to treatment of, and sheltering, terrorists.

After police released him on Dec 11, he was arrested by NAB from the court’s premises and an accountability court later remanded him to the anti-graft body’s custody until he was arrested by the police again.


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