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AC hears graft reference against Yousuf Raza Gilani

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court (AC) on Tuesday heard a graft case related to awarding an alleged illegal advertisement contract against former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and others.

AC Judge Muhammad Azam Khan presided over the hearing. NAB prosecutor Mirza Usman appeared before the court in person.

The lawyer of Farooq Awan, co-accused in the reference pleaded with the court to strike down his client’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL), citing his health issues.

“My client is being treated abroad and he should be allowed to appear before the court through a representative.”

Meanwhile, the NAB prosecutor opposed the plea and said in his supporting arguments that for any leniency the accused should appear before the court first.

Later, the hearing was adjourned until March 15.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) approved filing corruption references against former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and others for their alleged involvement in illegally awarding an advertising contract in violation of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules.

The other accused in the case included former secretary Information Technology Farooq Awan, former principal information officer Muhammad Saleem, Syed Hassan Sheikh, Inam Akbar, and other officials of the Ministry of Information Technology, who allegedly misused their authority which caused a loss of Rs128.07 million to the national exchequer

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