Abbasi’s physical remand extended for another 14 days

Updated August 30, 2019

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The accountability court of Islamabad on Thursday extended the physical remand of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for another 14 days. — Photo courtesy CNN/File
The accountability court of Islamabad on Thursday extended the physical remand of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for another 14 days. — Photo courtesy CNN/File

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court of Islamabad on Thursday extended the physical remand of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for another 14 days as he himself asked the judge to accept the prosecution’s request for extension in the remand.

Mr Abbasi was produced in the small and crowded courtroom of Judge Shahrukh Arjumand who was looking after the accountability court in the absence of accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir.

When the prosecution produced Mr Abbasi before the court, the prosecutor requested the judge to extend his physical remand.

Since Mr Abbasi has not yet engaged a lawyer, he himself argued and asked the judge to accept whatever the prosecution was requesting for.

He sarcastically said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) still required time to understand what the LNG contract was about.

Mr Abbasi is accused of awarding a 15-year contract for an LNG terminal against the rules when he was petroleum minister in the cabinet of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The case was closed by NAB in 2016, but reopened in 2018.

Meanwhile, former law minister Barrister Zaffarullah Khan submitted his papers of attorney (Wakalatnama) to represent Mr Abbasi.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Khan said that though Mr Abbasi had refused to engage a lawyer during his physical remand he needed a lawyer once the court would send him on judicial remand.

According to him, the former prime minister can apply for post-arrest bail after his physical remand expires.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2019