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KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday granted bail to five former officials of the state-owned Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and a private petroleum firm in a Rs23 billion corruption case.

The two-judge SHC bench headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro granted post-arrest bail to PSO’s former GM (supply) Akhtar Zameer, former GM (retail consumer business) Syed Zulfiqar Ali Jaffri, former GM (marketing) Nazir Zaidi; chief executive officer of Byco Pakistan Petroleum Ltd Qaisar Jamal and chief operating officer Kamran Iftikhar against a surety bond of Rs1 million each and also ordered the placement of their names on the exit control list.

The pre-arrest bail of former director general of the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority Sabir Hussain was also confirmed on the same terms.

The suspects through their counsel, Rashid A. Rizvi, Shahadat Awan, Mahmood Alam Rizvi and others, moved the court and argued that they were framed in the reference since they did not commit any illegality in signing the share purchase arguments.

NAB filed a reference against them before an accountability court this year and alleged that the suspects in connivance with one another misused their authority and were involved in corruption and malpractices causing losses of Rs23bn to the national exchequer.

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2018