LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) said on Friday in an accountability court that former Punjab senior minister Aleem Khan did not cooperate with investigators during his previous physical remand.
“Therefore, further remand of him is required to complete investigation,” said a NAB prosecutor in the court where Khan was produced on expiry of his eight-day physical remand in a case of assets beyond means and malpractice.
Judge Syed Najamul Hassan Bokhari, however, extended the remand of Khan for another 10 days. NAB arrested the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader on Feb 6 when he appeared before a combined investigation team.
The prosecutor stated that so far seven people joined the investigation during the last remand while several others had yet to be appeared before the investigating team despite being summoned.
He said Khan used to be a common man till he became an MPA in 2003 and he accumulated assets of Rs871 million, established 35 companies and opened 100 bank accounts by 2007.
He said the former minister failed to justify purchase of 900 kanals on Burki Road, Lahore. He said a discrepancy of around Rs1.5 billion had been found in the declared and undeclared assets of the former minister.
He said huge amount had also been traced in the bank account of Khan’s employee namely Umair.
The prosecutor requested the court to extend physical remand as Khan had been very non-cooperative during the investigation.
On the other side, the defence counsel opposed further remand, saying that 80 per cent of companies owned by the former minister were established with bank loans.
He complained that earlier NAB had been talking about offshore companies of his client but later started investigation into his assets.
The counsel said Mr Khan during his previous stint as minister had a budget of Rs90 million or so. NAB should furnish evidence if it was accusing Khan of misappropriating the whole budget of his ministry, asked the counsel. He said NAB was asking his client about assets and money inherited from parents. Khan inherited Rs510 million after the death of his mother, the counsel said adding there was no need of further physical remand.
It alleged that Khan being a public office holder acquired huge assets and established offshore companies that owned apartments and bank accounts. It said all these things were not proportionate to the known sources of income of the suspect.
Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2019