An accountability court on Wednesday charged three key accused in the DHA City Lahore scam case.

The three accused — Hammad Arshad, his brother Murad Arshad, and retired brigadier Khalid Nazeer Butt — allegedly traded thousands of canals of land fraudulently on behalf of the Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

According to an agreement signed between DHA and a private company on June 14, 2010, the latter was to provide the housing authority with 25,000 canals of land in return for over Rs2 billion. However, Hammad and Murad only managed to sell 13,092 canals to DHA.

"Furthermore, the land sold to DHA was scattered into four parts rather than being in a single tract as promised," Waris Ali Janjua, prosecutor for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), told the court.

The NAB prosecutor further told the court that most of the land Hammad had sold to DHA was on the riverbed of the Ravi, completely inaccessible by road.

Arshad had also collected Rs15.47bn from the public by issuing allotment letters and later transferred the money to his personal accounts, Janjua told the court

According to the prosecutor, an inquiry was started against Arshad on the complaints of citizen Nouman Dawood and DHA.

"NAB received the first complaint against Arshad on March 2, 2011. By Feb 4, 2015, the bureau had completed the verification process on the various complaints against him," Janjua informed the court.

Retired brigadier Butt, on the other hand, was accused of approving the project while the master plan was yet to be approved by DHA, the prosecutor told the court.

"The project was approved without 30 per cent of the plots being allocated to the families of martyrs, which is a requirement," Janjua informed the court.

He said Butt had nonetheless signed the contract even though only 4,252 canals out of the promised 25,000 canals of land was available.

"Retired brigadier Khalid Nazir Butt abused his power as the project director," Janjua told the court.

The court adjourned the hearing till December 22 while ordering that witnesses be presented in the next hearing of the case.

In the same case, the court has already declared former chief of army staff Ashfaq Pervez Kayani's brother Kamran Kayani and Tariq Siddique absconders in this case

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