Claiming his innocence and offering to face trial in Peshawar over a weapons scam allegation, Amir Ghazan Hoti, brother of former chief minister Amir Haider Hoti, has filed a writ petition at the Peshawar High Court seeking pre-arrest bail upon his return to the country from abroad.
The petitioner is one of four individuals summoned to court on April 1 in a Rs2.03 billion embezzlement case against them. NAB has filed a corruption reference against 10 people – most of them ex-police officials – who had allegedly taken kickbacks during 2008 and 2010 while procuring weapons and other ammunition, worth Rs7 billion, for the police department. Only four of these individuals have been summoned to court so far.
Hoti has named the chairman, director general Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and investigation officer of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the accountability court as respondents in his petition submitted through his counsel Qazi Jawad Ihsanullah. According to the petition, Hoti has been living and conducting business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the last seven years.
The petition stated that the accused wished to travel to Pakistan and defend the corruption charge as soon as possible, adding that he had the right to a fair trial without unnecessary arrest or harassment at the hands of the prosecution. On February 28, NAB raided Hoti’s residence in Mardan but came out empty-handed. Officials approached the federal government requesting that the accused be put on the Exit Control List (ECL). Interpol was also contacted and asked to arrest him.
Hoti highlighted the fact that he did not hold any public office and could not possibly be included in the list of accused officials in a case under section 9 of the NAB Ordinance 1999. Being the brother of the former chief minister was not a crime and the allegations were politically motivated, as there was no evidence against the accused, the petition stated.
The petitioner demanded that the court grant him pre-arrest bail and restrain the respondents from arresting him till the trial is concluded in the accountability court.
Others accused in the weapons scam include former inspector general of police (IGP) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Malik Naveed, Frontier Constabulary (FC) Commandant Abdul Majeed Khan, former additional IGP Operations Abdul Latif Khan, Central Police Office (CPO) DIG Sajid Ali Khan, ex-DIG Headquarters Muhammad Suleman Khan, former budget officer of the police department Javed Khan, former CPO Establishment AIG Kashif Alam, former Telecommunications DIG Sadiq Kamal Orakzai and Raza Ali Khan, who is also a relative of former chief minister Amir Haider Hoti.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2014.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ