The Sindh High Court (SHC) gave the Federal Investigation Agency more time on Thursday to furnish details of misappropriation in trade subsidies and money laundering cases made against the former commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim.
A division bench, headed by Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, will take up the matter on August 18 and go through the federal agency’s record of the alleged scam.
Fahim, along with the former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and several former and serving employees of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), is facing trial before the federal anti-corruption court at Karachi in a dozen cases pertaining to embezzlement of the TDAP subsidies and illegal transfer of money abroad.
On July 10, the SHC bench had granted Fahim protective bail to surrender before the trial court, which had issued non-bailable warrants for his arrest over his continuous absence during the trial, despite issuance of repeated orders and bailable warrants.
In his plea, the former minister had said that his name was included in the charge-sheets under the instruction of the higher authorities with mala fide intent as he was not mentioned in any of the FIRs.
All the FIRs were offshoots of the inquiry initiated to investigate the allegation of huge embezzlement in government funds under the garb of 25 per cent freight subsidy announced by the commerce ministry under the Trade Policy 2002-03.
According to Fahim, the FIA wanted to implicate him in more FIRs and charge-sheets to politically victimise him under the garb of the inquiry.
Granting him protective bail, the court had personally summoned the investigation officer along with the relevant record. During Thursday’s hearing, the FIA sub-inspector Rahat appeared and requested for more time to submit the relevant record.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2014.
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