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Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani's physical remand extended till April 12

March 30, 2019

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Durrani is being investigated for holding assets beyond means. — DawnNewsTV/File
Durrani is being investigated for holding assets beyond means. — DawnNewsTV/File

A Karachi Accountability Court on Saturday extended the duration of physical remand of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani till April 12.

Durrani was arrested by NAB authorities from outside a hotel in Islamabad on Feb 20. According to NAB officials, the PPP leader is facing an inquiry for accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income as well as allegations that he had embezzled public funds.

Last year in July, NAB had approved an inquiry against Durrani over various allegations of corruption.

NAB’s regional board had sanctioned three separate inquiries against the PPP leader: the first inquiry pertains to an allegation of accumulation of assets beyond known sources of income; the second relates to 352 illegal appointments made by him; and the third pertains to embezzlement of funds for the construction of an MPA hostel and construction of the new Sindh Assembly building, as well as in the appointment of project directors for the said projects.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor told the court today that Durrani has been stopped from going to the Sindh Assembly as the investigation is being conducted thoroughly.

Durrani, who was present in court, said that in the previous term of physical remand, he had only been questioned for ten minutes. "They kept asking me the same questions over and over again," Durrani said while adding that no one was being allowed to see him.

NAB, on the other hand, said that Durrani was not being mistreated at all. It said that an air conditioner has been placed in Durrani's room.

"[But] we will go to every level for justice," the NAB prosecutor said.

The NAB prosecutor alleged that Durrani was colluding with three other people, who had been sent on bail.

"Those three people do not even own motorcycles themselves and yet are giving out millions in gifts," the NAB prosecutor alleged, adding that the suspect had denied knowing any of these three people.

Durrani's lawyer, on the other hand, said that the Supreme Court should issue some guidelines towards peoples' arrests.

"The suspect's arrest warrants still do not mention the reason for his arrest," the lawyer said.

"Those three people bought estate in the name of the suspect's children using laundered money," he added.

Following his arrest on the night of Feb 20, the anti-graft body had also conducted a search of Durrani’s house, located in Karachi's Defence Housing Authority.

The defending lawyer said that they should be provided a copy of the video of the raid on the suspect's house. NAB replied that the video will be provided once it comes in.

The court ordered Durrani's lawyer to submit a written application in the matter.