Former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) IGP Malik Naveed was remanded for 10 more days by an accountability court on Wednesday, allowing the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to continue their ongoing investigation of a weapons scam. The scam is said to involve weapons procurement deals as well as kickbacks worth billions of rupees.
The accused was presented before Accountability Court Judge Wilayat Ali Khan, under high security, after being handed to NAB for 14 days on November 21.
NAB Special Prosecutor Lajbar Khan told the court that under the NAB Ordinance 1999, Section 24, “The NAB chairman has the power to direct the accused be arrested during investigation of the case. The Chairman, or an officer of NAB authorised by him, may submit a reference before the court for the custody of the accused for the purpose of inquiry and investigation for a period not exceeding 90 days.”
Wilayat Ali Khan asked the prosecutor what had been achieved in the first 14 days of remand, demanding a daily progress report. Lajbar informed the court that during preliminary investigation, the accused shared information. As a result, a large number of documents need to be combed through and further investigation is required – requiring an extended remand of 15 days.
“Investigation revealed that during Naveed’s tenure a contract was signed with Happy Traders to purchase Kalashnikovs for the police department, however, the amount of this agreement was received by MS Majeed and Sons Co instead,” shared NAB prosecutor Lajbar.
“The accused gave Rs300 million in advance to the contractor where another Rs3.2 billion was also approved. It was further revealed that the head of a foreign company, who had allegedly signed a contract, had actually never visited Pakistan.”
“This is a ‘mega scam’ involving Rs7 billion worth of arms, and several bank accounts, so we need more time to investigate.” The prosecutor told the court the accused played a pivotal role in the scam as he was the sanctioning and approving authority.
Others accused, who are vital to the investigation, need to be summoned for which the presence of Naveed is necessary, argued Lajbar. He added each document involved elicits thousands of questions.
If the prosecution has any proof, they should bring the documents to the court as they did nothing during the 14-day investigation, countered Barrister Zahoorul Haq, Naveed’s counsel.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Wilayat Ali Khan granted physical remand for 10 moer days and handed over former K-P IGP Malik Naveed in the physical custody of NAB.
Earlier, during the November 21 hearing, Malik Naveed told the court there was a 30-member purchase committee involved in procurements but all allegations of embezzlement made against him.
The last court order read, “Perusal of records reveals the accused is charged for the commission of offences of corruption and corrupt practices and causing a loss to the government exchequer of Rs1825.831 million and of procuring sub-standard equipment.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2013.