ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Tuesday reserved decision on applications seeking acquittal of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others in the re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) reference.

Accountability Judge Nasir Javed Rana reserved the decision after the counsel for the accused concluded arguments.

Mr Abbasi, ex-finance minister Miftah Ismail, former managing director Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Sheikh Imranul Haq, ex-Ogra chairpersons Saeed Ahmed Khan and Uzma Adil Khan, Engro Group chairman Hussain Dawood, former chairman PQA Agha Jan Akhtar, ex-member Ogra Aamir Naseem, former managing director PSO Shahid M. Islam and PSO official Abdul Sammad have been nominated in the reference.

The reference filed by NAB stated that one LNG company had received benefits of over Rs21 billion because of the contract. The reference said the national exchequer would suffer Rs47bn loss by 2029 if the contract in question continued. Mr Abbasi has termed these charges “defective”.

The NAB prosecutor argued that since the amendment to the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO) had ousted the jurisdiction of NAB from such matters, the court may issue an appropriate order only. He however opposed the requests for acquitting of the accused.

Addressing the court, Mr Abbasi said the reference was filed as a political victimisation. He said not a single witness brought an iota of evidence against him and he was dragged into the case four years ago.

Talking to reporters outside the courtroom, Mr Abbasi said he had presented the record of the last 35 years.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Mianwali raid
Updated 02 Feb, 2023

Mianwali raid

The military needs to share intelligence with civilian agencies to neutralise the militant menace nationwide.
Corruption unlimited
02 Feb, 2023

Corruption unlimited

PAKISTAN’S consistent slide on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index over the last several...
Women police officers
02 Feb, 2023

Women police officers

IN a heartening development, a second female police officer has been appointed as DPO in Attock, weeks after the...
Road to perdition
Updated 01 Feb, 2023

Road to perdition

This is also the time of reckoning for those who sowed the seeds of a disastrous policy against militants.
Transport tragedies
01 Feb, 2023

Transport tragedies

TWO tragedies over the weekend illustrate the weak protocols governing the safety of transport in Pakistan. In fact,...
Disqualifying Jam Awais
01 Feb, 2023

Disqualifying Jam Awais

IT appears that there may be some kind of small punishment after all for PPP lawmaker Jam Awais, who was pardoned ...