Khawaja brothers case adjourned till Sept 17

Associated Press of Pakistan September 13, 2019
  • The court issued notices to the Bureau on the application and sought reply while adjourning further proceedings.
  • 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 Rs 39 million, respectively.

LAHORE: An accountability court on Friday adjourned hearing of Paragon City reference against former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique till Sept 17.

Accountability Court Judge Syed Jawadul Hassan conducted the reference proceedings wherein the Khawaja brothers were produced on expiry of their judicial remand term.

At the outset of the proceedings, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor submitted a reply to an application, filed by Khawaja Salman Rafique challenging its jurisdiction.

However, a counsel on behalf of Khawaja Saad Rafique filed an application seeking directions to set aside the indictment, saying that all allegations levelled against his client were baseless.

Subsequently, the court issued notices to the Bureau on the application and sought reply while adjourning further proceedings till Sept 17.

On the last hearing, the court had indicted Khawaja brothers who pleaded not guilty and contended to contest the charges.

Besides the Khawaja brothers, Nadeem Zia, Umar Zia and Farhan Ali were also nominated in the reference.

The reference stated 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 Rs 39 million, respectively, from the society through proxy firms under the garb of consultancy services, it added.

Khawaja brothers were arrested on Dec 11, 2018 by the bureau. A Lahore High Court bench dismissed post-arrest bail petitions of the Khawaja brothers on June 18. However, they had not approached the apex court in the matter yet.

 

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