Co-accused in Dr Asim Hussain corruption case arrested


–SHC extends bail period of three accused

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Thursday dismissed the pre-arrest bail plea of Abdul Hameed, co-accused in the Rs462 billion corruption reference against former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain, after which he was arrested.

Abdul Hameed had appeared before the court for the hearing and was taken into custody by officials of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after his pre-arrest bail plea was rejected.

According to NAB, the suspect is accused of laundering money through Dr Asim’s bank accounts.

While dismissing Hameed’s pre-arrest bail plea, the SHC granted an extension in the bails of ex-petroleum secretary Ejaz Chaudhry and former Karachi Dock Labour Board (KDLB) chief executive officer (CEO) Muhammad Safdar.

The court accepted the pre-arrest bail plea of former Karachi Development Authority (KDA) director Athar Hussain.

Dr Asim Hussain, a close aide of former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, faced several charges including two corruption references filed by NAB of Rs462 billion through fraudulent allotment of land for expansion of his hospital and money laundering.

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

Dr Asim also acquired land illegally for establishing Ziauddin Hospital, according to the NAB documents presented by the prosecutor in the court.  The former minister was arrested on August 25, 2015, by the Rangers.