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Antiques’ theft: Accountability court extends judicial remand of Dr Abdul Samad

PESHAWAR: An accountability court in Peshawar has extended judicial remand of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Archaeology and Museums Director, Dr Abdul Samad, in illegal appointments and antiques’ theft cases, ARY News reported on Monday.

The KP’s Archaeology and Museums Director has been produced before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court today.

The court heard the NAB cases filed against Dr Abdul Samad, who is facing charges of alleged illegal appointments and antiques’ theft.

However, Dr Samad was sent back to jail for more 14 days after approval of the request filed by the anti-graft watchdog.

While talking to media, Samad’s lawyer said that his client filed a bail petition in the high court which will be heard on April 2.

On March 11, the archaeology expert had been handed over to the anti-corruption watchdog on 14-day judicial remand in the previous hearing.

NAB Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had arrested Dr Abdul Samad on February 14 and he had spent 24 days under its custody.

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On February 17, initial investigations against Dr Abdul Samad, chairman of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Archaeology and Museums’ department had revealed that antiquities worth millions of dollars have either been misplaced by the department or are not according to the catalogue.

Senior anchorperson Arshad Sharif while talking to ARY News informed that the arrested official, who remained in his position for over five years, was also being questioned for escalation of costs of different projects from Rs. 200mn to over Rs. 750mn.

According to Sharif, other ministers of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government can also come under the investigations as the circle expands in the investigations on the misuse of authority and misplaced antiquities.

Read More: Chairman NAB takes notice of Dr Abdul Samad’s arrest

Earlier, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had said that any illegal appointment of any pay-scale is corruption and cannot be overlooked as per law.

The anti-corruption watchdog said in a statement that the campaigners wanted to hinder the NAB’s efforts to bring culprits to justice.

“Dr Abdul Samad has not only made several illegal appointments but also involved in misappropriation of antiques, sculptures and other valuables of antiquity, which is being investigated by a team of highly qualified experts associated with the NAB”, read the NAB statement.

In November last year, the NAB had started grilling the officials of the Directorate of Archeology and Museums during inquiries into the alleged replacement of artifacts with replicas and illegal appointments.

The NAB KP team had raided the Directorate of Archeology and Museums the same month, remained there for hours during the raid and questioned a number of officials at the two offices.

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