LAHORE: An accountability court on Tuesday issued bailable arrest warrants for approver Qaisar Amin Butt in Paragon City case against former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique.
Accountability Judge Syed Jawadul Hassan conducted the case proceedings, wherein Jail staff produced Khawaja Salman Rafique on expiry of his judicial remand.
At the outset of proceedings, the court was informed that Khawaja Saad Rafique was in Islamabad in connection with National Assembly session. The court was further requested to exempt him from personal appearance.
The National Accountability Bureau prosecutor submitted that approver Qaisar Amin Butt could not appear due to his illness, in response to a court query.
At this, the court expressed annoyance observing that he had been summoned many times but he failed to appear. Subsequently, the court issued bailable arrest warrants for the approver and ordered police concerned to ensure his presence on the next date of hearing, February 24. The court also adjourned further hearing while allowing the exemption application of Khawaja Saad Rafique.
The bureau had alleged that the Khawaja brothers through their “benamidars” and with the abetment of former MPA Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia established a housing project in the name of Air Avenue.
The project was later converted into a new housing project namely Paragon City Pvt Ltd, which NAB said was an illegal society and not approved by the Lahore Development Authority.
The former railways minister and his brother received monetary benefits of Rs 58 million and 39 million, respectively, from the society through proxy firms under the grab of consultancy services, it added.
Khawaja brothers were arrested on December 11, 2018 by the bureau. A Lahore High Court bench dismissed post-arrest bail petitions of the Khawaja brothers on June 18, 2018.