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LAHORE: An accountability court on Tuesday turned down a request of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking extension in physical remand of former senior minister Abdul Aleem Khan in cases of offshore companies and assets beyond means and sent him to jail on judicial remand.

The NAB officials produced Khan before the court on expiry of his previous remand and submitted an application for 15-day extension in the custody. The bureau’s prosecutor stated that the suspect failed to satisfy the interrogators about his assets in and outside the country.

The defence counsel, however, opposed further physical remand of Khan and argued that the NAB had nothing new to seek extension in the custody except old grounds. He argued that all the offshore companies and assets attributed to his client were already declared in tax documents.

NAB’s plea for extension in remand rejected

The judge, Syed Najamul Hassan Bokhari, rejected the NAB’s application and sent Aleem Khan to jail on judicial remand till March 18.

In a brief media talk outside the court, the former senior minister said, “I have been saying since day one that my hands are clean.” He said a bail petition would soon be filed in the Lahore High Court after consultation with his legal team.

PTI’s former MPA Shoaib Siddiqui and scores of party workers gathered outside the judicial complex to show solidarity with their leader.

Talking to the media, Siddiqui expressed his satisfaction over the court’s order and termed the rejection of the NAB’s plea a victory of Aleem Khan. He hoped that Mr Khan would be released soon.

Strict security measures had been taken outside the judicial complex before the NAB personnel produced the PTI’s leader.

The NAB had arrested Khan on Feb 6 last when he appeared before a combined investigation team. It alleged that Khan being a public office holder acquired huge assets and established offshore companies that owned apartments. It said all these things were not proportionate to his known sources of income.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2019