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Monday Mar 20, 2017

IHC approves Sharjeel Memon's protective bail till April 5

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) approved former Sindh information minister Sharjeel Inam Memon's protective bail request till April 5 on Monday.

A two-member IHC bench headed by Justice Athar Minallah heard the case against the senior leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and asked Memon to submit a bond worth PKR 2 million.

The NAB prosecutor argued that Lahore High Court rejected Memon's request for protective bail, however, the two-member bench said the accused had surrendered before the court.

Justice Athar Minallah asked the NAB prosecutor to explain the premise of his case against the bail.

"Granting him (Memon) protective bail would be extraordinary after he was declared a fugitive by an accountability court," said the NAB prosecutor. The lawyer further said that Memon had misused the protective bail.

Justice Minallah said that as per precedents, there was no harm in issuing protective bail if the accused surrenders to the court.    

"The court has served me justice, and I am grateful," said Memon while talking to the media.

He said the reference was created in October 2016 and filed in his absence.

"I will appear before the court for all the false cases filed against me," said the senior PPP leader. He further said that Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and others were targeting him.

Memon was taken into custody from Islamabad airport by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) personnel immediately after he landed in the country after two years. Memon arrived from Dubai, accompanied by the Sindh ministers Mukesh Chawla, Imdad Pitafi, Fayyaz Ali Butt and Nawab Taimur Talpur.

According to sources privy to the development, six plain-clothed personnel led by the deputy director of NAB's crime wing took Memon into their custody from Benazir Bhutto International Airport on the advice of NAB Karachi division, immediately after he unboarded the flight, EK-614. The former provincial minister was shifted to an undisclosed location.   

NAB filed a reference case against Memon and 10 others in an accountability court of Karachi for alleged corruption of around PKR 5.76 billion. Others accused include Zulfiqar Ali Shallwani, Aneeta Baloch, Mansoor Ahmed Rajput, Mohammad Yousuf Kaboro, Inaam Akbar, Altaf Hussain Memon, Riyaz Manir, Fazal Mehmood, Mohammad Hanif, Asim, Masood Hashmi, Gulzar Ali, Suleman Mansoor Umer, Syed Naveed, and Sarang Latif Chandio.   

Memon was living in a self-imposed exile for more than two years in Dubai and London.

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