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LNG case: Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah sent on 14 days judicial remand

LNG case: Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah sent on 14 days judicial remand
September 26, 2019 12:36 pm

ISLAMABAD (92 News) – An accountability court on Thursday sent former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister Miftah Ismail on 14 days judicial remand in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) scandal. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials produced Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah Ismail and Imranul Haq before court after expiring physical remand. During the hearing, the NAB seek another extension in physical remand of the former premier and finance minister. The court rejected the demand of physical remand and sent the accused on judicial remand for 14 days. They will be shifted to Adiala jail today. Speaking to the journalists, the former premier demanded trial of his case in open court. Earlier, Khaqan, Miftah Ismail and Shaikh Imranul Haq, on September 12, were handed over the accountability watchdog on physical remand till September 26 (today). In last hearing, the NAB officials had pleaded to the court for an extension in physical remand of the accused by further 14 days, which was granted by Judge Muhammad Bashir. The former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is facing charges of corruption and awarding a LNG import contract at exorbitant rates in 2015, which caused big loss to the national exchequer.Sources said that he had granted a tender worth Rs220 bn to a firm in which he himself was a shareholder. 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. On July 18, the NAB arrested PML-N vice-president Shahid Khaqan Abbasi from the Toll Plaza near Thokar Niaz Baig in LNG case. On Jan 2, the NAB Executive Board had authorized two investigations against Mr Abbasi, being former minister for petroleum and natural resources — one for his alleged involvement in irregularities in LNG import and the other related to the appointment of Naeemuddin Khan as president of the Bank of Punjab. The NAB inquiry found that the SSGCL signed a 15-year contract with a subsidiary company of Engro for re-gasification of LNG at fixed daily processing charges. The government authorized the Pakistan State Oil to procure LNG on behalf of the SSGCL. However, the NAB reopened the inquiry against Abbasi in October 2018.

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