NAB witnesses' absence irks judge 1

KARACHI: An accountability court here on Saturday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to ensure presence of its witnesses in a Rs17 billion corruption case involving Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Dr Asim Hussain, ARY News reported.

The accountability judge expressed annoyance over the bureau for failing to present witnesses in court and directed it to ensure their presence on the next hearing. Dr Asim Hussain and other accused persons appeared in the court.

The court adjourned the hearing until Feb 2.

Dr Asim Hussain, a close aide of former president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, is facing two corruption references pertaining to alleged corruption of over Rs460 billion through fraudulent allotment of land for expansion of his hospital in Karachi and money laundering.

He has also been accused of fraudulently awarding contracts for five gas fields to the Jamshoro Joint Venture Limited, which allegedly caused a loss of Rs17.338bn to the national exchequer.

The former petroleum minister was arrested on August 25, 2015 by the Pakistan Rangers, Sindh and remained in their custody for 90 days. He was then handed over to the police for further probe and remained in custody on judicial remand for over a year before being released on bail by the Sindh High Court.

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