Judicial remand of Shehbaz, others extended for 13 days in Ashiana scam case

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LAHORE: An accountability court on Friday extended the judicial remand of National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif, former top bureaucrat Fawad Hasan Fawad and former director general of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Ahad Cheema for 13 days in the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme scandal.

The directive was given as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) presented seven accused, including Fawad Hasan Fawad and Ahad Cheema, in court.

Shehbaz Sharif, however, could not be presented in court as he was attending the National Assembly session in Islamabad while on transit remand.

During the hearing, the NAB prosecutor informed the court that the supplementary references against Shehbaz and Fawad in Ashiana case will be filed within 2-3 days.

On Wednesday, the anti-graft body informed the Supreme Court (SC) that supplementary references have been prepared against Shehbaz Sharif and Fawad Hasan Fawad which have been approved by NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal.

According to NAB, “the contract for the housing scheme was won by a construction company titled Chaudhry Latif and Sons but Punjab former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and his aides awarded the Rs14 billion contract to Lahore Casa Developers – a proxy group of Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, which is said to be owned by Railways Minister Saad Rafique”.

“Fawad Hasan Fawad, who was implementation secretary to the Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif at the time, leveled charges of wrongdoings against Chaudhry Latif and Sons in order for the contract to be awarded to Casa Developers,” the anti-graft body claimed.

“It was due to the hired company’s incompetence that the project could not be completed in three-year duration which brought upon a loss of Rs640 million to the government,” NAB officials added.