KARACHI: An accountability court deferred on Monday the indictment of former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain and others in a corruption case after the lead prosecutor failed to appear in court.
The hearing was fixed for framing charges on the former minister and others accused along with him in a fertilizer scam. However, the judge adjourned the hearing till May 6 after the deputy prosecutor general of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) could not make it to court.
During the hearing on Monday, Dr Asim moved an application before the judge seeking permission to visit the consulate of the United Arab Emirates for submission of some documents. The judge, however, observed that the arguments from the prosecution were needed on the plea, therefore, the matter was fixed for the next date.
According to the prosecution, Dr Asim, misusing his authority as a federal minister, in collusion of other accused, illegally curtailed gas to the agriculture sector to benefit a particular group associated with the fertilizer industry. The NAB contends that through this move, the price of fertilizers was arbitrarily hiked in the country and the minister received kickbacks in return. Furthermore, the same reference also alleges a land scam, public fraud and money laundering against the former minister. The overall amount involved in the investigation is Rs462.5 billion.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2016.
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