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Thursday Mar 19 2020

Rafique brothers released from jail


LAHORE: Shortly after being granted bail from the Supreme Court in the Paragon Housing scam, senior PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique were released from jail on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the apex court had approved the bail of the PML-N leaders in a corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The bail was granted against two surety bonds of Rs3 million each.

The SC, in its decision, observed that the petitioners had cooperated with the NAB during the trial. Justice Maqbool Baqir observed that the NAB had not yet provided clear evidence in the case.

Saad Rafique spoke to media after release, saying that the PML-N is a party which is inclined towards moderation and it has also proven it.

“NAB and Pakistan cannot function together,” he said, adding that the probe body’s law is based on dishonesty.

He said the party will not change its stance, adding that the people of Pakistan is with them.

Rafique asked PM Imran to ‘learn to tolerate’ his opponents. He said that the government’s behavior will hamper the country’s progress. 

The former railways minister said that in the PML-N tenure there were no political prisoners.

In December 2018, NAB had arrested the Rafique brothers after the Lahore High Court (LHC) rejected their request for an extension in their pre-arrest bail in a case pertaining to the housing society scam.

The Rafique brothers had approached the apex court after the LHC had cancelled their bail plea.

Read more: Supreme Court grants bail to Khawaja brothers in Paragon Housing case

Presenting its allegations, NAB in a press release had said: “"accused Saad Rafique along with his benamidaar wife Ghazala Saad Rafique, brother Salman Rafique in association with Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia established a housing project in the name of Air Avenue which was converted into a new housing project namely M/S Paragon City Pvt Limited. Record shows that M/S Paragon City is an illegal society.

Accused has been and is continuously obtaining illegal/ illegitimate funds/ benefits from said project as he obtained 40 kanal plots in his own name and the name of his brother Salman Rafique.”