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Haj corruption: Forensic record produced in court

June 29, 2012

RAWALPINDI, June 29: A special court of Rawalpindii on Friday made the forensic evidence, produced by the federal investigation agency (FIA) in Hajj corruption case, part of its record.

According to prosecution, the forensic evidence has exposed the linkages between the accused persons of the scam.

FIA special prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali produced the forensic record that was retrieved from the laptop of Raja Aftabul Islam, joint secretary ministry of religious affairs before special judge central Khalid Shabbir.

The record also included the photographs of Raja Aftab with the other accused, former director general Haj Rao Shakeel and building supervisor Ahmed Faiz, the alleged front man who has been declared proclaimed offender by the court.

It may be pertinent to mention that earlier, Raja and Rao Shakeed had denied links with Ahmed Faiz.

Prosecution told the court that Raja Aftab, Rao Shakeel and Ahmed Faiz were close friends as the level their intimacy and closeness could be seen be seen in the photographs.

He said the photographs also denied the claims of Raja Aftab and Rao Shakeel that Ahmed Faiz was unknown to them.

FIA forensic expert Ali Imran also recorded his statement before the judge. He said the laptop was recovered from the residence of Raja Aftab.

He said the photographs of Ahmed Faiz with the accused persons have been deleted from the laptop but during the forensic test, the deleted items have been retraced.

The court summons six prosecution witnesses for July 6 and adjourned the hearing.

During the hearing, Hamid Saeed Kazmi, Raja Aftab and Rao Shakeel were present in the court.

Aftab Raja and Rao Shakeel have been indicted in the case under 109, 409, 420, 468, 471 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) and 5 (2) 1947 of Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) for fraud, cheating, misuse of authority, and causing loss to the national exchequer and the public at large.

They were accused of hiring 87 substandard buildings in Makkah at faraway locations on higher rents and of receiving kickbacks and commission through their middleman Ahmed Faiz during 2010 Haj arrangements.