Tuesday Feb 25 2020

IHC grants bail to PML-N leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal

PML leaders Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court approved on Tuesday the bail of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal in corruption cases against the two. 

The bails to Iqbal and Abbasi were granted against bonds worth Rs10 million each in the cases against them. A two-member bench of the IHC, under Chief Justice IHC Athar Minullah, heard both the cases today.

In the hearing, Additional Prosecutor General NAB opposed the bail of Iqbal, saying that if the suspect is granted bail then it can disrupt the case’s record.

During the arguments in the sports city case, Justice Minallah remarked that arresting a suspect to interrogate him shows incompetence on the part of the investigation officer and a suspect is innocent until the crime is proven against him.

The APG NAB then said that if the PML-N leader submits his passport and appears when summoned by the court then he has no objection.

PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal was arrested in December by the NAB as he appeared before it in relation to the corruption case.

NAB had begun investigating the complex in July 2018. It was built at the staggering cost of over Rs3,000 million.

The NAB investigation team also visited the Narowal Sports City project in November to secure records.

The mega venture was one of the primary projects developed under former minister for planning Ahsan Iqbal during the PML-N's tenure.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi gets bail in LNG case

IHC Justice Minallah heard the LNG terminal case on Tuesday, against the former prime minister and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

During the hearing, the judge stated that in the case Punjab Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules do not apply as public funds weren’t used.

“If in the matter public funds weren’t used then what is your case built upon?” said the judge.

To which the Additional Prosecutor NAB said that Abbasi abused his authority in the LNG terminal project, adding that the ministry handled the entire process, even excluding OGRA.

The court subsequently granted bail to Abbasi against bonds worth Rs10 million.

Last year, the Nab had arrested Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in an alleged case of corruption while awarding a multi-billion rupee import contract for LNG in 2013, when he was the minister for petroleum and natural resources.