LHC extends Saad Rafique, brother’s bail till Dec 5

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–Former railways minister is being investigated in various cases, including Ashiana Housing scam, Paragon scam and corruption in railways

 

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday extended the bail granted to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Salman Rafique in the Paragon Housing scam and directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to decide immediately on the basis of law whether a team probing them is to be changed.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Tariq Abbasi heard the petition filed by the Khawaja brothers for pre-arrest bail.

The petition stated, “We fully cooperated with NAB in the investigation and our pre-arrest bail should be approved.” The brothers also claimed that they were not involved in corruption.

The bench then asked the NAB lawyer whether documents pertaining to the arrest had been given to the brothers to which he replied, “The documents will be given when they are arrested.”

The bench, expressing anger over his response, questioned, “Can those documents not even be shared with the court?” At this, the NAB lawyer replied, “The documents related to the arrest are at the NAB office.”

The bench then questioned whether the Khawaja brothers were present in court and was told that they are. The brothers then told the court, “We fear that NAB will arrest us.”

After hearing arguments of the respondents’ counsel, the bench extended the bail granted to the brothers till December 5.

The bench also directed the NAB chairman to make a decision immediately in keeping with the law on the brothers’ petition to change the team probing them.

NAB officials say there are three inquiries ongoing against Saad Rafique pertaining to the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme, Paragon Housing scam and corruption in Pakistan Railways.

Earlier on Friday November 23, Saad Rafique had accused the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of allegedly drugging those in its custody to influence their statements.

Addressing the National Assembly, he had said, “During (Pervez) Musharraf’s time, NAB was used to coerce people into switching loyalties. Those who were with Musharraf were considered ‘Mr Clean’ and those who stood firmly by their viewpoints were punished by NAB. These were unfortunate times.”