Ashiana Housing scam: court acquits Sharif and others

4 min read

Shehbaz Sharif, the president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), and ten others were acquitted Saturday by an accountability court in Lahore of the Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme case, in which incumbent federal ministers Ahad Cheema and Fawad Hassan Fawad have also been accused.

In a report published by Geo News on November 2, the court declared all four defendants innocent after announcing its verdict, which was reserved until the following day.

Earlier today, The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor and the lawyers of the National Accountability Court had concluded their final arguments regarding the acquittal pleas and had reserved the decision after concluding their final arguments.

In the acquittal applications, the acquittal applications argued that all prosecution witnesses in the case as well as the approvers of the reference had withdrawn their statements, indicating that conviction in these matters was not possible. Applicants argued before the court that the applications should be approved and the charges against them should be dismissed.

There has been no evidence of financial corruption or misuse of authority by Shehbaz Sharif, according to a report filed by the NAB in May, which was submitted to the court.

In the report, it is stated that the charges against the former prime minister of abuse of authority, corruption and money laundering could not be substantiated under the provisions of the 1999 National Accountability Ordinance.

There has been a reference filed by the NAB in 2018, alleging that the PML-N president and other accused had caused the national kitty a massive financial loss by awarding the contract to a construction firm without having conducted a competitive bidding process for it.

Sharif was arrested by the accountability bureau on October 5, 2018 in connection with the case when he appeared before them in another matter. Cheema was arrested on February 21, 2018 in relation to the same case. It was later decided that they would both be released on bail.

An earlier court was able to acquit Kamran Kiyani, the brother of Ashfaque Parvez Kiyani, and Nadeem Zia of Paragon City on the basis of a lack of evidence presented by the prosecution.

As a reward for awarding the housing scheme contract to the proxy firm of Paragon City Developers, Bismillah Engineering, Cheema was alleged to have obtained illegal benefits from the owners of their company.

You May Also Like

+ There are no comments

Add yours