ISLAMABAD: Accountability Court judge, Syed Ashgar Ali, on Tuesday, called security officials to take lawyer of co-accused former secretary Sindh Agha Wasif Abbas in Sindh Nooriabad Power Companies case out of court as he did not follow his instructions.

Accountability Court-III judge, Syed Asghar Ali, while hearing objection petition of former secretary Sindh Agha Wasif Abbas, a co-accused in the Sindh Nooriabad Power Companies (SNPC and SNPC-II) and money laundering case against Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and others against freezing of his accounts and property, called police to take Abbas's counsel Raja Abdul Qadeer out of court after he repeatedly ignored instructions of the judge.

Waseem Javed, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor was arguing his case regarding freezing of accounts and property of co-accused Abbas, the defense counsel interrupted him, despite the judge urging not to disturb the prosecutor. The judge told him to wait for his turn for making a submission but he continued interruption.

At one stage, the prosecutor and the defense counsel also exchanged harsh words. The judge, while snubbing the defense counsel, said that from where he got his legal education. When the defense counsel continuously ignored the instructions of the court, the judge called the security official to take him out of court and adjourned the case till today (Wednesday).

The same court on July 6 endorsed the NAB's request to freeze former secretary Sindh Abbas's bank accounts and assets. The bureau has frozen 13 banks accounts of Abbas and his family, and a plot in the DHA. The accused, Abbas through his counsel Raja Qadeer filed objections over the accountability court order to freeze his assets.

During the previous hearing, Abbas's counsel told the court that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had granted bail to his client and even then the anti-graft body froze accounts and asset of Abbas. He requested the court to reject the NAB's request regarding freezing of assets and accounts of his client.

The NAB prosecutor told the court that the accused had allegedly initiated the summary for Sindh Transmission and Dispatch Company (STDC), without feasibility study and also gave official cover to illegal award of project i.e. "laying of 132KV Double Circuit Transmission Line between SNPC and K-Electric Grid" amounting to Rs1.275 billion to M/s Technomen Kinetics, which could have been completed in only Rs125 million in case of connectivity with Hyderabad Electric Supply Company, which was originally part of this project, even otherwise, the cost of the project was enhanced to Rs1.90 billion.

He said that suspicious transactions including government checks in a company registered in the name of Agha Wasif's wife came to light during investigation. The accused and his wife had been included in the investigation and given an opportunity to come up with an explanation in this regard but they did not participate in the inquiry, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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