An accountability court in Islamabad released former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on parole on Monday so he can attend his uncle’s funeral prayers in the federal capital.
The court allowed Khaqan’s release on the condition that the district administration of Islamabad and Rawalpindi provide him foolproof security. Accountability judge Mohammad Bashir said that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) director-general should only allow the release if the district administration can take responsibility for providing Khaqan with security.
He also directed the DG to make appropriate arrangements for the release of the former premier.
Earlier, NAB prosecutor had told the court that Khaqan cannot be released as he is being investigated. It is against the law to release a suspect in such circumstances, he had argued.
On the other hand, Sadia Abbasi, the ex-premier's sister, said she had asked for her request to be granted on a humanitarian basis.
“These requests are not made every day,” she said. Sadia also highlighted that the former premier had been on physical remand for more than 60 days.
On September 11, NAB Karachi had recommended opening another corruption reference against Khaqan for allegedly violating the rules and procedures set by the federal government in the appointment of the managing director of Pakistan State Oil.
The former prime minister is currently on 14-days physical remand in a case pertaining to the LNG scandal. Khaqan is accused of awarding a 15-year contract for an LNG terminal against the rules while he was petroleum minister in the cabinet of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The case was closed by NAB in 2016 but was reopened in 2018.