ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday extended the physical remand of former water and power secretary Shahid Rafi by three days in the Karkey rental power case. It also handed over custody of the other suspect, Muhammad Sher Malik, to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) till May 10 for further investigation.
Rafi and Ali were presented before Judge Arshad Malik at Accountability Court-2, where the NAB requested extension in the remand of the suspects for the purpose of investigation.
The counsel for the accused Sher Malik informed the court that the NAB had not presented any new evidence against his client. Malik was arrested on charges of being the frontman for Raja Babar Zulqarnain, who the bureau claims used the Karkey project to launder his illegal money.
Arguing against the extension in Malik’s remand, his counsel stated this Raja Zulqarnain had returned a loan to his client. To this, the NAB prosecutor responded that a transaction of $5 million had taken place.
“My client was arrested in Lahore but he was not presented to the court there,” Malik’s counsel said, requesting the court to release his client. “My client comes from a respected family of landowners, and the case does not fall within NAB’s domain at all.”
On the other side, the NAB prosecutor maintained that Sher Malik was a close relative of Raja Babar Zulqarnain and received the money in his Dubai Islamic Bank account located the branch in Islamabad’s F-10 sector.
“Arrest warrants against the suspect were issued by the NAB chairman on April 28 and the investigation is still under way,” the prosecutor informed the court, while seeking the extension in the remand.
The defense counsel maintained that the anti-corruption watchdog had not recovered any evidence during the past 10 years and nothing could be expected now.
Meanwhile, Investigation Officer (IO) Waqas, while commenting on Raja Babar Zulqarnain’s role, said that he used to be the Turkish company head in Pakistan.
Upon this, the court inquired that if Zulqarnain was associated with Karkay, why should it matter if he received payment from the firm.
The IO responded that Zulqarnain took the money as loan and established an offshore company. NAB claims that at least $365,000 was illegally transferred by Zulqarnain through that offshore company, Lead Burn Global Ltd, to another offshore company Cannock Global Enterprises Limited.
The defense counsel said that Zulqarnain was connected with the rental company but his client Sher Malik had no connection with it.
The investigation officer told the court that the suspect had taken $100,000 from another company, while Karkey, the Turkish power company, transferred $5 million to Raja Zulqarnain to establish an offshore company.
The court instructed the bureau to submit evidence against the statements, while agreeing to the NAB’s plea for remand.