Monday, December 23, 2019

IHC grants bail to Miftah Ismail in LNG case

Miftah Ismail granted bail against surety bonds of Rs10 million

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday granted bail to former finance minister Miftah Ismail in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) case. 

A two member bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the case.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in August in the LNG import case. Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and ex-managing director PSO Sheikh Imran-ul-Haq are also facing investigations in the case.

Abbasi is currently incarcerated in Adiala Jail on judicial remand and has not approached the court for bail while Haq has been released on bail.

During today’s proceedings, Ismail’s counsel argued that his client was accused of hiring consultant illegally while the appointment was made by USAID and that he was not even on Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) board at that time.

To this, Justice Minallah asked how much remand had been given to Ismail. The NAB prosecutor told the court, that Ismail has been granted 49 says remand till now.

When the bench inquired about the status of inquiry, the NAB official informed the court that the “investigation was ongoing and an interim reference has been filed in the case”.

The prosecutor opposed the bail saying the accused may flee the country.

He said that former chairman SSGC Zuhair Siddiqui who has become approver in the case is being threatened.

After the arguments were concluded, the bench granted bail to  Ismail against surety bonds of worth Rs10 million.