LAHORE: A special court for control of narcotics substance on Monday allowed an application by former law minister Rana Sanaullah and directed the prosecution to provide him copies of the statements of its witnesses.

Presiding Judge Shakir Hassan had reserved his verdict on the application on the last hearing, which he announced.

The defence submitted a list of over 100 individuals investigated by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) in a drug case against Khan. It said the investigating officer recorded the statements of the individuals but had not provided their copies to the suspects as required by the law before the indictment.

The prosecution challenged the application of the defence with an argument that the statements not made part of the record could not be demanded. The judge, however, allowed the application and directed the prosecution to furnish the copies of the statements required by the defence.

Earlier, the judge also allowed applications of Khan and other suspects for one-time exemption from appearance. The defence counsel told the court that the suspects could not travel to Lahore due to dense fog on the motorway.

The judge adjourned further hearing till Jan 23 when the suspects are likely to be indicted.

The ANF arrested Mr Khan on July 1, 2019 and claimed to have recovered 15-kg heroin from his vehicle. The FIR was lodged under section 9 (C) of the Control of Narcotic Substances Act of 1997. He was twice denied bail by the trial court and the Lahore High Court released him on bail on Dec 24, 2019.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2021

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