–NAB prosecutor tells court investigators didn’t get enough time to grill Sindh Assembly speaker due to his participation in sessions
KARACHI: An accountability court on Monday extended the physical remand of Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Durrani in an assets beyond means case until March 21.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials presented Durrani in the court on completion of his remand and requested the judge to remand the accused in their custody for 15 more days for further interrogation.
The NAB prosecutor claimed that the bureau had hardly two days to carry out investigation against the speaker as he attended the Sindh Assembly sessions daily. “Durrani spends little time in NAB custody.”
He said more properties owned by the accused have surfaced during the investigation. Durrani had a property in Abbottabad, whose value he had declared at Rs4 million against the actual value of Rs27 million, he said, adding that 10 wrist watches worth millions of rupees, gold and foreign currency were found from the suspect’s lockers.
However, Durrani complained about NAB’s treatment of him, saying from day one, he was not allowed to sleep. He added that NAB officials remained in his residence for eight hours and searched every nook and cranny of the house and took along all of the things.
He said his family members were being persecuted as their phone calls were being tapped.
In the previous hearing, the court had extended his remand until March 11, after NAB officials stated that his custody was required for further interrogation about several assets and properties.
The investigating officer informed the court that transactions of more than Rs40 million had been made and the people whose names were on the pay orders also needed to be questioned.
He said the amount was remitted from the account of a person, named Gulzar Ahmed, who has gone into hiding. He said efforts were being made to arrest him.
The IO said that the speaker attended the Sindh Assembly session daily, which impeded the investigation process. He said Durrani’s remand needed to be extended to complete investigation into his assets and properties.
Opposing the plea, his counsel Shahab Sarki stated that NAB had been provided with the money trail and other documents in regard to his client’s properties, adding that the investigation was to be carried out on the basis these documents.