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Musa Gilani gets interim bail in ephedrine case

July 17, 2012

RAWALPINDI, July 16: Lahore High Court (LHC)’s Rawalpindi bench on Monday granted interim bail to Ali Musa Gilani, son of former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, in the case pertaining to the illegal allocation of ephedrine quota worth Rs7 billion to two pharmaceutical companies - Berlex Lab International and Danas Pharmaceutical.

A trial court, in the same case, declared Dr Rashid Juma, former director general health, the second approver. Earlier, director Danas Pharmaceutical Rizwan Khan was also declared an approver.

When the division bench of the LHC, comprising Justice Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah and Justice Ibadur Rehman Lodhi, took up the bail plea, Dr Khalid Ranjha, the counsel for Musa Gilani, maintained that his client was innocent and had falsely been implicated in the ephedrine scam.

He claimed that the Control of Narcotics Substance (CNS) court was not competent enough to hear the ephedrine case because ephedrine was a controlled substance and not a narcotic.

At one stage, the court refused to hear Musa Gilani’s bail plea and directed his counsel to approach the CNS court.

Justice Lodhi observed that the order of Sindh High Court was very clear and it had directed Musa Gilani to surrender to the trial court for a pre-arrest bail.

Dr Ranjha, however, pointed out that the LHC had earlier granted post-arrest bail to other accused in the same case.

The court finally accepted his request and granted interim bail to Musa Gilani till July 30 against a surety bond of Rs50,000.

The same court also took up the bail pertaining to federal Textile Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin and other accused in the ephedrine scam.

Shah Khawar, the counsel for Mr Shahab, contended before the court that the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had initiated a campaign for manipulating evidence against his client and so far they had convinced two accused - Dr Rashid Juma and Rizwan Khan - to become approvers.

He said further delay in the case may also prejudice his case and requested the court for not giving any opportunity to ANF for cooking up the story against his client.

Talking to mediapersons outside the courtroom, Musa Gilani said he was regularly appearing before the investigating team and cooperating with them. He denied any link with his alleged frontman Tauqeer Ali Khan who managed the allocation and conversion of ephedrine for the pharmaceutical companies.

Meanwhile, Dr Rashid Juma recorded his statement in the ANF court and swore that he had become an approver without any pressure or influence.

His statement submitted to the court was the same he recorded with the Anti-Narcotics Force investigating team on June 16.

Dr Juma confessed to the crime of allocation and conversion of ephedrine to the pharmaceutical companies but alleged that he did so on the pressure of Musa Gilani and Khushood Lashari.

He said Musa Gilani and Mr Lashari had deliberately not forward the summary for his service extension to the prime minister because they wanted to use it as a blackmailing tool.