Aleem exempted from court appearance till NAB files reference

Updated May 28, 2019

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Khan did not appear before the court as he was in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. — DawnNewsTV/File
Khan did not appear before the court as he was in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. — DawnNewsTV/File

LAHORE: An accountability court on Monday exempted former senior minister of Punjab Abdul Aleem Khan from personal appearance till filing of a reference of assets beyond means against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Earlier, a special NAB prosecutor told the court that several letters under Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) had been written to the authorities in United Arab Emirates seeking record of Mr Khan’s offshore companies. He said investigation would be complete once the record sought under the MLA was received by the bureau.

Mr Khan did not appear before the court as he was in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah. His counsel filed an application requesting the court to exempt his client from personal appearance till the NAB filed its reference.

Judge Jawadul Hassan admitted the application and adjourned hearing for a week with direction to the NAB to submit its progress report.

The Lahore High Court had granted bail to Khan on May 15 last, raising several questions on the investigation.

The NAB had arrested the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader on Feb 6 this year when he appeared before a combined investigation team at the bureau’s headquarters. The court had on March 5 sent him to jail on judicial remand after denying the NAB his further custody.

The NAB stated that Mr Khan, being a public office-holder, acquired huge assets and established offshore companies.

The prosecution further said that the suspect acquired more than 900 kanals of land worth Rs600 million approximately in different parts of Lahore in the name of his company M/s A&A Pvt Ltd and also paid a huge amount for additional 632 kanals of land which he failed to justify.

It said Mr Khan won Rs19m out of a prize bond draw in 2002, while he transferred Rs190m to his father and Rs198 million to mother abroad.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2019