RAWALPINDI: An accountability court in Rawalpindi annulled on Wednesday the sentence of former interior minister Senator Rehman Malik in two corruption references.
The former interior minister faced two corruption references and he was convicted in absentia by an accountability court in 2004 while he was abroad.
In the first reference, Mr Malik was accused of receiving two cars worth Rs1.79 million from Toyota Central Motors in Karachi through Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Deputy Director Wasim Ahmed as illegal gratification for the purchase of official vehicles by the FIA, worth tens of millions of rupees.
The second reference was based on a case registered by the FIA on the complaint of Lahore-resident Hashim Raza, who accused Mr Malik, FIA Additional Director Mohammad Sajjad Haider and others of raiding his house in August 1994 and looting 20 tolas of gold and jewellery along with Rs700,000.
On Jan 7, 2004, an accountability court sentenced Mr Malik to three years but he appealed the conviction.
Also read: Final warning to Malik in corruption cases
After the scrapping of the National Reconciliation Ordinance, the case was taken up again by a high court bench, which on May 18, 2010 upheld the accountability court’s decision and Mr Malik’s sentencing.
However, then president Asif Ali Zardari exercised his discretionary powers and granted a special remission to Mr Malik.
Though the former interior minister claimed in his statement that the accountability court had acquitted him in these corruption references, prosecutors from the National Accountability Bureau maintained that it was not an acquittal as such.
Also read: Supreme Court declares NRO null and void
As per the prosecution, the former minister had challenged the sentence in absentia before the Supreme Court in 2010 and the apex court had remanded the case to the accountability court, asking it to explain the legal position of the conviction in absentia after the accused had surrendered before the court.
The prosecution said that the accountability court had only clarified that after his surrender, the conviction of Mr Malik held no legal force.
Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2015