FIA gets five more days to question Kazmi

Former minister to attend joint parliament of sitting for Zardari speech


Obaid Abbasi March 22, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Former minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi has been remanded in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)'s physical custody for another five days for questioning in the Hajj scam case.

Senior Civil Judge Muhammad Aslam Gondal on Monday directed the FIA to produce Kazmi before the court again on March 26.
Meanwhile, dozens of supporters gathered outside the court and chanted slogans in support of the former minister.

FIA Assistant Director (Legal) Khalid Naeem Butt had asked the court to let the agency keep Kazmi for another nine days, but the judge granted him five days. Defence coun sel Syed Wajid Ali Gilani said his client had been cooperating with the FIA since the beginning and still the agency had no evidence of his guilt.

The court rejected Gilani's request that Kazmi be allowed to visit Hakim Ali Zardari, the ailing father of President Asif Ali Zardari, in hospital, but accepted his request for medical treatment for Kazmi's back pain.

Kazmi later told reporters that he had been shifted from the FIA lockup to a safe house for security reasons.

National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza on Monday directed the Interior Ministry to ensure that Kazmi attends the joint sitting of parliament on Tuesday for President Zardari's speech.

Kazmi was arrested on March 15 for corruption and misuse of authority in making Hajj arrangements last year.

WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ZIA KHAN IN ISLAMABAD.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2011.

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