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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court, on Tuesday, fixed April 28 for indictment of former ambassador Pakistan Embassy Bulgaria AS Babar Hashmi and others in a corruption reference regarding embezzlement in the embassy’s funds.

Accountability Court-III judge Syed Asghar Ali, while hearing the case, issued order that all the accused ensure their presence before it during the next hearing to be held on April 28. The court also ordered accused to submit surety bonds of Rs500,000 each. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), on January 6, filed the reference against Hashmi and others for embezzling embassy funds in the Accountability Court.

According to the reference, former ambassador to Bulgaria Babar Hashmi in connivance with former accountant Tufail Qazi embezzled Rs19 million from 2016 to 2018. The funds were released for Pakistan’s embassy in Sofia.

The bureau has started an investigation in this regard on the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The accused used the embassy funds for personal use by paying of their hotels bills. The embezzlement was detected when a new accountant took charge of the embassy in Sofia.

Hashmi and Qazi have failed to submit a bank reconciliation statement to the chief accounts office of the Foreign Ministry, which is a violation of rules.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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