Court hears NAB reference against former PM Shaukat Aziz, Liaquat Jatoi, others
ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday heard a reference against former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, former federal minister Liaquat Jatoi and others pertaining to misuse of authority, ARY News reported.
Former prime minister Shaukat Aziz and two other accused failed to appear before the court during the hearing.
The accountability judge resented the absence of the accused and delay in the indictment.
No reply submitted in the court about former PM Aziz’s production before the court in the case hearing.
Three co-accused Liaquat Jatoi, Yousuf Memon and Ghulam Nabi Mangario filed petitions for their acquittal in the case.
The National Accountability Bureau in its reply opposed the acquittal petition and said the accountability watchdog have substantial evidence against the accused which will be produced before the court on begining of the trial.
The NAB prosecutor requested for one week to submit evidence and reply about production of the absent accused.
The accountability judge ordered the NAB to ensure presence of all accused in the court on the next hearing of the reference and adjourned the hearing till March 22.
The NAB in a previous hearing apprised the court that in compliance with the court orders, non-bailable arrest warrants for former prime minister Shaukat Aziz, have been sent to the concerned embassy.
It is pertinent to mention here that Shaukat Aziz had not been appearing before the court since long in the corruption reference.
The case against Aziz
NAB had filed a reference against Shaukat Aziz, who served as Pakistan’s prime minister from 2004 to 2007 – over misuse of authority during his tenure as prime minister.
NAB contends that he had illegally appointed Mr Basharat Hasan Bashir as a consultant for the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) on Management Position-II (MP-II) pay scale.
The accountability watchdog maintains that the appointment of Bashir violated MP scale policy guidelines and the board’s regulations.
Basharat Hasan Bashir was appointed on January 1st, 2006 without open competition, NAB says.
After expiry of his consultancy contract in May 2008, Basharat Hasan Bashir illegally held the said post for almost five years without any extension, notification or regular appointment and kept on enjoying salary and all perks and privileges illegally in connivance with the management of AEDB.
Besides Shaukat Aziz, former Federal Minister for Water and Power and a leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Liaqat Jatoi, ex-Secretary W&P Ismail Qureshi, ex-Addl. Secretary Yousaf Memon, Ghulam Nabi Mangrio, Umar Farooq, ex-Chairman- Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) Air Mar (R) Shahid Hamid, ex-Secretary AEDB Brig Dr Nasim A Khan and ex-DG (PP) AEDB Dr. Basharat Hasan Bashir were other respondents in the reference.