ISLAMABAD, Dec 2: An accountability court here on Monday deferred the indictment of former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in the rental power projects (RPP) case after his counsel claimed that the prosecution had not yet handed over the relevant documents to his client.

When Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir resumed the hearing of the case, Pervez Asharaf along with his counsel Farooq H. Naek appeared before the court.

The counsel informed the judge that the prosecution agency - National Accountability Bureau (NAB) - had not yet provided the accused with the letters in which he had allegedly given concession to the RPPs.

Advocate Naek also pointed out that businessmen M. N. Baig and Iqbal Z. Ahmed, who were the alleged beneficiaries in the matter, had obtained stay from the Lahore High Court and, therefore, they could not be indicted.

He contended that unless the main beneficiaries were not indicted, the co-accused or the facilitators should not be charge sheeted.

It may be mentioned that when NAB filed a reference with the accountability court on November 6, Iqbal Ahmed and M.N. Baig had already obtained stay orders against the proceedings.

In the reference, NAB had accused Mr Ashraf of misusing his authority during his tenure as the minister for water and power to obtain approval from the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) and the cabinet for an increase in the down payment to the rental power companies from 7 per cent to 14 per cent, amounting to about Rs22 billion.

He authorised on April 13, 2009, the submission of a summary to the ECC which allegedly contained misleading facts, stating that the terms and conditions of the bidding envisaging 7 per cent advance could not be met and should be raised to 14 per cent.

The accountability court will take up the matter again on December 16.

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