Hearing of reference against Sohail Butt adjourned

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LAHORE – An accountability court on Friday adjourned hearing of a reference against former Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) member of the provincial assembly (MPA) and close relative of the Sharif brothers, Sohail Zia Butt until February 9 without framing charges against the accused. Earlier, the defence counsel submitted an application for transfer of the case to another court.
A reference was filed against Butt in 2001 for embezzling Rs two million while purchasing the Ahmed Mansion situated at the Mall Road, Lahore for the National Industrial Cooperative Corporation. Separately, an accountability court sent Rana Imtinan Saeed, Omeed Ijaz and Faisal Rasheed to jail on judicial remand until February 19. They are accused of embezzling Rs 140 million by obtaining a loan from the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) through fake documents.
Earlier, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) produced the accused in court after completion of their 90 days physical remand and requested the court to send the accused to jail, as they were not required for investigation anymore. The court also extended physical remand of Zahid Imtiaz until February 19. Omeed was manager of NBP Lytton Road Branch while Imtinan was legal council of the bank. Imtinan and Faisal established five companies including Paragon Leather, Imperial Chemicals, Ikhlaq Traders, Y2K Traders and Copier Traders.
The accused acquired five loans worth Rs 140 million on fake documents in name of their firms from the bank and embezzled them afterwards. Omeed granted three bogus loans worth Rs 100 million against fake collaterals. The accused deliberately omitted the verification process to ascertain genuineness of the mortgaged properties, business worth of borrowers, turnover and creditworthiness.
Also on Friday, Model Town Judicial Magistrate Sahir Aslam sent Muhammad Amin, the third accused in Supreme Court Justice Javed Iqbal’s parents’ murder case on judicial remand until February 18. Earlier, the Factory Area Police presented the accused in court seeking his judicial remand, as he was not required by police for investigation. During hearing, police said that the case’s investigation has been completed and all relevant articles including money and stamp papers have been recovered from the accused.
Two other accused including Justice Iqbal’s stepbrother Naveed and Abbas are already in police custody. Naveed murdered his father former DIG Malik Abdul Majeed and stepmother Zarina with help of his two accomplices over monetary issues. A district and sessions judge on Friday dismissed a petition seeking court orders to set aside the Cantt magistrate’s decision regarding American national Raymond Davis. The court observed that the applicant is not council of the accused or complainant and has no right to file an application in this regard.
According to details, Azhar Siddique filed the petition submitting that decision of Cantt Magistrate Zafar Iqbal Sial, regarding bail of Davis in case of carrying illegal weapons and extending his physical remand, is illegal and be set aside. The petitioner said that Sial is neither an illaqa nor duty magistrate owing to which all his decisions are illegal. Siddique alleged that the magistrate heard the case at 8am violating court timings, which start from 9am. He said that Davis be presented before an illaqa magistrate, as the application for extending his physical remand could only be heard by an illaqa magistrate.