Wednesday, October 16, 2019 | ePaper

Former Pak PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi arrested in LNG case

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Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested by a 12-member National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team on Thursday in a multi-billion-rupee case related to the award of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import contract.
According to DawnNewsTV, Abbasi was on his way to attend a press conference, accompanied by PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal and spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, when he was arrested on the Thokar Niaz Baig interchange. 
Abbasi initially resisted the arrest but eventually conceded. He was shifted to NAB office in Lahore after a medical check-up. He is currently being taken to NAB Rawalpindi.
According to a NAB deputy director, bureau's chairman Javed Iqbal has also signed the arrest warrant of another PML-N leader, Miftah Ismail.
Ismail is also being probed in connection with the LNG import case.
A five-member team was dispatched to take the former finance minister into custody, who is believed to be in Islamabad, according to officials.
NAB had summoned the former premier in the LNG case today but he did not appear before the bureau. According to the team investigating Abbasi, the former premier had only answered 20 out of the 75 questions he had been asked. They said that despite giving him time, Abbasi had continually asked for more time to answer these questions.
PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz shared a NAB arrest warrant for Abbasi, dated July 16.
As per the arrest warrant, Abbasi is "accused of commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices under Section 9(a) of National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999."
NAB Chairman retired Justice Javed Iqbal directed the former premier's arrest under Section 18(e) and Section 24(a) of the NAO.
Abbasi "shall be produced before the court for authorisation of detention for such period as may be necessary for finalisation of the investigation", the arrest warrant added.
According to sources, he will be presented in court tomorrow due to the shortage of court hours today. Accountability judge Chaudhry Ameer Khan is expected to hear NAB's request for a transit remand.
In a post shared on Twitter, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif - also facing cases by NAB - condemned Abbasi's arrest.

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