Plea bargain amounts to pleading guilty, says NAB chief

Updated 24 Feb 2020

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"Immediately after approval of plea bargain, a government servant is dismissed from service," says Iqbal. — DawnNewsTV/File
"Immediately after approval of plea bargain, a government servant is dismissed from service," says Iqbal. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: National Acco­untability Bureau (NAB) chairman Javed Iqbal has said that striking a plea bargain deal is deemed conviction and it is prevalent in 30 other countries.

“As per clause 25-b of [the National Accountability Ordinance] NAO, plea bargain is deemed conviction as the accused not only accepts his/her guilt but also agrees to pay total liability which is deposited in the national exchequer,” he said in a statement.

The NAB chairman said immediately after approval of his plea bargain by an accountability court the government servant is dismissed from service and “becomes disqualified for the rest of his/her life”.

He said the money recovered through a plea bargain was deposited in the national exchequer and NAB officers did not receive anything from this amount.

Establishment Division seeks clearance for appointment of police officer to Italy

In the plea bargain, the accused did not go to jail, but he/she faced all other punishments under 25-b of NAO.

Justice Iqbal said the individual liability of the accused was determined on the basis of looted money and after determination of his/her total liability, NAB forwards the plea bargain request to an accountability court.

Meanwhile, the Establishment Division has sought clearance from NAB for appointment of a senior police officer as a team leader of the UN peacekeeping force in Brindisi, Italy.

The anti-graft watchdog has written to chiefs of regional NAB offices to provide details about 14 top officials at present serving as deputy inspector general and senior superintendent of police in different departments.

According to a letter issued by the NAB headquarters, the Establishment Division has forwarded 14 names of officers and requested to inform whether they were “beneficiary of National Reconciliation Ordinance or any NAB proceedings have ever been conducted against them”.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2020