Sohail Zia’s reference hearing adjourned

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LAHORE – An accountability court on Friday adjourned the hearing of a reference against former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) member of the provincial assembly (MPA) and close relative of Sharif brothers, Sohail Zia Butt, until January 16 and directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit the supplementary reference on the case’s next hearing. Butt is co-accused in a reference filed in 2001 in which he was accused of embezzling Rs 2 million after purchasing the Ahmed Mansion situated on the Mall Road for the National Industrial Cooperative Corporation.
At time of the reference’s filing, Butt was abroad and could not join the investigation. Afterwards, NAB filed a reference against the former PML-N MPA under Section 31-A of the NAB Ordinance requested the court to declare Butt as an absconder. In June 2001, the court declared Butt as an absconder and sentenced him to three-year imprisonment in his absence while issuing perpetual arrest warrants of the former lawmaker.
Butt came back to Pakistan in November 2007 and was arrested by NAB in August last year when he was going to attend a funeral. The Lahore High Court (LHC) suspended Butt’s sentence and released him on bail.
Separately, an accountability court extended the judicial remand of Kanal Motors Directors including Hafiz Usman Yousaf, Rana Qaisar Nazeer, Mohsin Abbasi and Ahsan Abbasi until January 21. The accused had offered attractive profits on investment in car trading and embezzled millions of rupees which the general public had given them. The court also directed NAB to file a reference against the accused until the case’s next hearing.