NICL land scam: Three magistrates to be prosecution witnesses

FIA declares Moonis Elahi guilty of accepting commission.

Rana Yasif September 18, 2011


The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has once again implicated PML-Q MPA Moonis Elahi in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) land scam. In a rare development, three magistrates have been named as prosecution witnesses.

On Saturday, the FIA’s legal wing submitted the revised interim charge sheet, prepared under the supervision of Additional Director FIA Zafar Qureshi, before the court of Sessions Judge Mujhaid Mustaqeem Ahmed.

The magistrates, who have been nominated in the charge sheet, had recorded the statements of prosecution witnesses and determined bail applications. Shah has also been added as a prosecution witnesses. Qureshi has replaced FIA Inspector Muhammad Sarwer as investigation officer for the cases against Elahi. FIA officials requested the court to grant an extension for the submission of the final charge sheet.

Elahi’s counsel, Amjad Pervez, accused the FIA of wasting the court’s time and violating its orders. “The FIA is deliberately obstructing the course of justice to prolong Elahi’s incarceration,” he said.

Pervez claimed the FIA had delayed the submission of the charge sheet since August 18 and that Qureshi’s request for an additional month for further investigation had expired on September 6.

Pervez contended that even after being given a two-week grace period, the FIA had neither appointed a prosecutor nor completed the investigation.

He said Qureshi’s request for a third extension was illegal since two charge sheets could not be presented in the same case. He asked the court to order Qureshi to answer why the FIA had failed to appoint a prosecutor and present the final charge sheet.

He also demanded to know who had appeared before the court in the prosecutor’s absence. However, the judge ordered the FIA to present the final charge sheet and the new prosecutor by September 26 at the latest, failing which the court may summon Qureshi.

Qureshi had earlier informed the court that the charge sheet submitted against Elahi was tampered in his absence.

According to the FIA, Elahi had opened fake bank accounts in the names of his manager and wife to get his share of the commission in two land deals between NICL and Mohsin Warraich, son of former federal cabinet minister Habibullah Warraich.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2011.


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