ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Thursday sent former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister Miftah Ismail to jail on judicial remand in the liquefied national gas (LNG) scam.
During the hearing, the court rejected the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal of extending physical remand of the accused and, instead, approved their judicial remand.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, the former PM said the court should hold an open trial so that the public knows what was being happened. He said he expected no justice from these courts.
ان عدالتوں میں کوئی انصاف نہیں ہے
لوگوں کو جھوٹی گواہیوں کیلیے ڈرایادھمکایا جارہا ہے ٹرائل کرنا ہے تو اوپن کورٹ میں لائیو کریں تاکہ لوگوں کو پتا چلے کہ اس ملک میں کیا ہورہا ہے@SKhaqanAbbasi pic.twitter.com/1MNgxEMEOA
— PML(N) (@pmln_org) September 26, 2019
The country has become a “banana republic”. He said the people were being threatened to give false testimonies.
The apex court on Sept 10, 2018, directed NAB to complete the inquiry against Abbasi and others for the alleged corruption in the LNG contract.
Abbasi, in the capacity of minister for petroleum and natural resources in the previous PML-N government, has been accused of granting the LNG contract to Elengy Terminal Pakistan Limited (ETPL) – a subsidiary of Engro Corp – and LNG import from Qatar.
In June 2018, the NAB approved inquiry against former premiers, Nawaz Sharif and Shahid Abbasi, in granting contract for a period of 15 years to a “favorite” company.
It was also observed that this contract had allegedly caused a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer.
In January, the NAB interrogated former finance minister Miftah Ismail in the said case.
According to NAB documents, the contract for the LNG import and distribution was awarded to the ETPL in 2013 in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules and other relevant laws.