Former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf. — File photo
ISLAMABAD: During Tuesday’s hearing of the Rs22 billion Rental Power Projects (RPPs) case against former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, four prosecution witnesses recorded their statements in an accountability court in Islamabad, DawnNews reported.
Judge Mohammad Bashir was hearing the case in the federal capital’s accountability court.
Four prosecution witnesses, including the Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) technical director, recorded their statements in the court.
Meanwhile, former prime minister Raja Pervez Asharf also appeared in the court.
The court said that the prosecution’s witnesses would be subjected to cross-examination at its next hearing and subsequently adjourned the matter to Feb 24.
Speaking to media representatives outside the court, the former premier’s counsel Farooq H Naek ruled out his client's involvement in the case.
Meanwhile, Raja said he had been accused in the case without any proper investigation of the matter, adding that it had been unearthed that he did not obtain any illegal financial benefits.
Ashraf, a Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) politician who served as premier between June 22, 2012 and March 25, 2013, is accused of receiving kickbacks and commissions from nine rental power project firms for awarding contracts for setting up their projects in 2008 to overcome electricity crisis in the country. He was subsequently indicted in the case, along with six others, by the accountability court in Islamabad on Jan 17.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been investigating 12 RPP cases in which nine firms reportedly received more than Rs22 billion as mobilisation advance from the government to commission the projects, but most of them were accused of failing to set up plants.
The bureau had already recovered Rs13 billion in the case.