Under lock and key: Ghazan Hoti denied bail in weapons scam

Separately, four suspects in LRH shooting case released.

September 17, 2014

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has rejected the bail application of Amir Ghazan Hoti in a multi-billion rupee scam in the purchase of weapons for the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) police in 2008.

Ghazan Hoti is the brother of former chief minister Amir Haider Hoti.

On Wednesday, the division bench of Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Malik Manzoor Hussain was informed by Ghazan’s counsel, Qazi Jawad Ihsanullah, that his client spent 21 days in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) K-P. Following this period, the bureau stated it no longer needed him in its custody and he was then sent to Central Prison Peshawar.

According to Ihsanullah, NAB made contractor Arshad Majeed’s statement the basis of the enquiry against his client who is accused of receiving kickbacks worth Rs200 million in the said scam.

“NAB is investigating the matter based on Majeed’s statement which is illegal as the Supreme Court has issued various orders in this regard,” said Ihsanullah. He added the apex court’s orders state if a reference is not filed within a month of the challan being submitted in court, the suspect deserves to be released on bail,” the counsel told the division bench.

He recalled his client was arrested on April 15 after the court refused to extend his pre-arrest bail.

The division bench was also told by the lawyer that the PHC has already granted bail to a budget officer of the police department, Javed Khan, in the same case.

On the other hand, prosecutor Muhammad Jamil reminded the bench that the court had rejected the bail of former IGP Malik Naveed and another suspect Raza Ali Khan.

Jamil also told the court that NAB has solid proof against the suspect, including the statement of Majeed’s employee, who claimed he paid Rs195 million in kickbacks to Ghazan in the weapons scam.

After hearing the arguments, the court dismissed the suspect’s bail plea.

Request accepted

In a separate case, an anti-terrorism court granted bail to four suspects arrested on charges of firing in the emergency unit of the Lady Reading Hospital.

The court was told by Advocate Muhammad Nasir Alizai, the counsel for defendants Muhammad Shariq and his three uncles, Muhammad Tariq, Zahid Khan and Shahid Khan, that his clients were arrested on charges of firing at police in the hospital on September 10. He said the suspects had been wrongfully accused. He claimed they were at the hospital for a medical check-up and had the documents to prove it.

Meanwhile, the prosecution counsel said that an FIR was registered in the Khan Raziq police station under Sections 324, 34 and 353 of the Pakistan Penal Code as well as Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2014.



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