Voluntary return: Court endorses Masoom Shah’s plea bargain

Orders release of former adviser without further delay

Our Correspondent April 28, 2016
Former adviser to chief minister Syed Masoom Shah. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: A National Accountability Bureau court in Peshawar has endorsed the plea bargain agreement between the bureau and former adviser to chief minister Syed Masoom Shah on Thursday.

It ordered the release of former adviser without further delay.

Shah was arrested by NAB on August 11, 2015 on charges of accumulating assets beyond his known source of income.

The accumulated wealth includes, a house and a hujra on a land of 12 kanals in his village in Battagram, two plots in Hayatabad, two plots in Regi Model Town, the same number of plots in Defence Housing Authority in Karachi and one house each in Rawalpindi and Peshawar.

Shah also accumulated a huge bank balance in local and foreign accounts and drove around in expensive cars.

Subsequently, he offered to voluntarily return Rs258.7 million under a plea bargain with NAB.

However, the NAB court had later rejected the deal. The former adviser filed a petition challenging the dismissal of his plea bargain. The high court accepted Shah’s petition on March 14 and returned the case to the NAB court.

On February 10, a division bench of the high court dismissed the bail petition of Shah after it was informed final authority of approving plea bargains rests with the accountability court.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th,  2016.