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Court extends physical remand of Abbasi, others in LNG reference

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court extended physical remand of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah Ismail and Shaikh Imranul Haq until September 26, ARY News reported on Thursday. 

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials had produced Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail and former managing director of Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Shaikh Imranul Haq,  in accountability court on Thursday in LNG reference hearing.

NAB officials pleaded to the court for extension in physical remand of the accused by further 14 days.

Judge Muhammad Bashir reserved his decision over the NAB request, which was later granted by the court.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi approached rostrum in the courtroom during the hearing and said, “What the chief justice was saying yesterday is the real matter of the fact.” “These are political cases and I fear they will cook up a false case against me,” Abbasi said.

PML-N leaders Khawaja Asif and Rana Tanvir also met Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in the courtroom. Former deputy speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi and Malik Abrar were also present during the meeting.

Abbasi was arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) while en-route to Thokar Niaz Baig in Lahore on July 18 in a multi-billion-rupee case related to award of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import contract.

NAB sources said that Abbasi, in 2013, had awarded a LNG import and distribution contract to the Elengy Terminal in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules and relevant laws.

Earlier on April 26, the names of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail and five others had been placed in exit control list in an inquiry into the LNG scandal.

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