LAHORE: A judicial magistrate on Tuesday denied further custody of Muhammad Khan Bhatti, the principal secretary to former chief minister Parvez Elahi, to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in a money-laundering case.

The FIA produced Mr Bhatti before the magistrate on expiry of his previous remand and sought his further custody to complete the investigation.

Lahore Bar Association’s President Rana Intizar Hussain, appearing on behalf of Mr Bhatti, opposed the agency’s request for further physical remand.

He said there was no need for the suspect’s further custody, asking the court to reject the FIA’s remand request and discharge Mr Bhatti in the case.

Magistrate Ghulam Murtaza Virk turned down the FIA’s request for further remand and sent Mr Bhatti to jail on judicial remand.

Last week, a special anti-corruption court had released Mr Bhatti on bail. However, the FIA had arrested him in the money-laundering case and obtained his remand.

The Anti-Corruption Establishment accused Mr Bhatti of taking bribes for transfers and postings of the government officials and for issuing funds for development projects.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2023

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