RAWALPINDI: A sizeable amount from the frozen bank accounts of former military ruler retired Gen Pervez Musharraf has been withdrawn and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is clueless who has managed to take out the money from the accounts seized by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) after declaring Mr Musharraf a proclaimed offender in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

The special prosecutor of the FIA, Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed, on Tuesday submitted details of Mr Musharraf’s assets before ATC Judge Mohammad Asghar Khan.

The judge compared it with the one submitted to the court in 2016 and pointed out that a certain amount had been withdrawn from the frozen accounts.

Special prosecutor Ahmed told the court that the FIA would investigate the withdrawal of money from the frozen accounts and submit a detailed report in the court by Feb 15.

The ATC had in August 2017 convicted former additional inspector general Saud Aziz and senior superintendent of police Khurram Shehzad in the Benazir murder case and awarded both of them 17 years’ imprisonment. It had acquitted five suspects belonging to the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan — Rafaqat Hussain, Hasnain Gul, Aitzaz Shah, Sher Zaman and Rashid Ahmed. It issued perpetual warrants for the arrest of Mr Musharraf for being an absconder in the case.

The Lahore High Court had suspended the sentence, while the district administration detained the suspects under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) law.

Mr Musharraf is also absconding in the high treason case and the murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi and his properties have been confiscated in these cases as well.

On Dec 15, the ATC judge had issued arrest warrants for FIA special prosecutor Khawaja Imtiaz and investigation officer Azmat Mahmood for failing to appear before the court.

Sources in the FIA told Dawn that there was approximately Rs20 million in the accounts of Mr Musharraf in 2016 and currently the amount in the account was Rs17 million.

They expressed apprehensions that during the course of investigation that amount might be reduced further since the details submitted to the ATC were eight months old.

“There is a possibility that someone who managed to take out Rs3 million in eight months might have withdrawn more amount from the same accounts,” the sources said.

They said the FIA had started investigation and written a letter to the bank, seeking details of transactions from Mr Musharraf’s accounts. The bank had been asked to share the details when, where, how and who withdrew the said amount from Mr Musharraf’s accounts, they added.

Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2019