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KARACHI: Two bottles recovered from a hospital room of Pakistan Peoples Party lawmaker Sharjeel Memon during a surprise visit of the chief justice of Pakistan contained “honey and olive oil” and his blood samples also tested negative for alcohol, officials said on Monday.

Chief chemical examiner and laboratories director Dr Zahid Hasan Ansari — an official of the Sindh government — told Dawn that the investigation officer of the Boat Basin police station had brought two glass bottles for examination.

One 750ml bottle contained about 250ml thick, semi-soft brownish coloured liquid having sweetish smell, he said, adding that the second bottle, of about one litre and labelled as ‘Grey Goose Vodka’, contained about 300ml light yellowish coloured oily fluid that smelt like olive oil.

“On examination of both the bottles, it transpired that bottle No 1 contains honey and bottle No 2 contains olive oil,” said the chief chemical examiner.

Dr Ansari said that the police investigators also brought blood samples of Mr Memon and three arrested suspects for examination. The samples also proved ‘negative’, he said.

He said that he would formally submit the report of blood samples on Tuesday while the reports of the two bottles had already been submitted.

Blood samples of the held lawmaker test negative; police dissatisfied with lab findings

Separately, jail officials had also taken the blood samples of 44-year-old Memon on Saturday and sent them to the Aga Khan University Hospital and Dr Ziauddin Hospital for a test.

The reports of the two hospitals also showed that “plasma alcohol (ethanol) was not detected” (in the blood).

Police cast doubts over lab findings

While the Sindh government’s chemical examiner has given a clean chit to the PPP lawmaker, a special police team is still conducting investigation into the liquor case.

Sources told Dawn that the team had yet to determine whether Mr Memon’s blood samples were taken or someone else’s, and whether the same bottles recovered from his hospital room, declared as “sub-jail” by the provincial authorities, were given to the police or not.

The sources said that they got reports that alcohol was brought inside Mr Memon’s room and also the two bottles had a smell of alcohol.

The special team, headed by DIG South Javed Alam Odho, was also examining the CCTV footage obtained from the hospital to determine as to whether the bottles were changed.

In case of any foul play or manipulation, the team may take fresh blood samples and send the same to a ‘third party’ for verification.

The sources said that an FIR against the lawmaker was lodged on the complaint of a jail official and all initial proceedings like blood samples and sealing of the seized bottles were carried out by jail officials inside the sub-jail.

They said that it was strange that the jail official who should be treated as a suspect had become a ‘complainant’ in the case.

Three get bail in liquor case

Also on Monday, three detained employees of Mr Memon were granted bail by a local court.

Police arrested Mohammad Jam, Mushtaq Ali and Shakar Din in connection with the recovery of the two liquor bottles from a room of the Dr Ziauddin Hospital in Clifton, where Mr Memon was staying for his medical treatment.

After hearing arguments from the prosecutor, the judicial magistrate (South) granted bail to the three detained men on personal bonds directing them to appear in court on Sept 15.

On Saturday, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar had raided Mr Memon’s room and reportedly found “liquor” there. Later, he was shifted back to the Karachi central prison.

Police arrested three of his employees and booked them in a case under Section 4 (owning or possessing intoxicant) of the Prevention (Enforcement of Hadd) Ordinance 1979 at the Boat Basin police station.

On Sunday, the police had produced the detained men, including a driver, before a judicial magistrate to seek their police remand for interrogation. However, the court had remanded them in judicial custody.

On Monday, the suspects moved bail applications. Their counsel undertook that they would not abscond from the court if they were granted bail.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2018