ISLAMABAD: An accountability court adjourned the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) case against former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others till January 10 due to the absence of defence counsel.
Newly-appointed Accountability Court-II Judge Nasir Javed Rana after assuming charge took up the LNG case against Abbasi and others but the prosecution informed the court that defence counsel are not available.
The prosecution briefed the court about the case and then the court adjourned the hearing till January 10. The tenure of former Accountability Court-II judge Azam Khan expired on October 27. The government on December 19 appointed District and Sessions Judge Nasir Javed Rana as the new judge of the Accountability Court for a term of three years.
The Accountability Court-II judge Muhammad Azam Khan during his tenure heard the case regarding award of the LNG Terminal to ETPL that allegedly caused a loss of Rs21.584 billion to the exchequer.
The NAB on December 4, 2019, filed an LNG case before the AC. Those who are nominated in the reference for allegedly misusing their authority include Abbasi, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, ex-managing director (MD) Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Sheikh Imranul Haque, Agha Jan Akhtar, former chairman Port Qasim Authority (PQA), Saeed Ahmed Khan, former chairman Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra), Aamir Naseem, former member oil Ogra, Uzma Adil Khan, chairperson Ogra, Shahid M Islam, former MD PSO, and Abdul Samad Dawood.
The bureau on August 6, 2020 filed a supplementary reference against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others, in connection with the LNG case.
The bureau has nominated Abbasi, Abdul Khaqan Abbasi, son of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail, ex-MD PSO Sheikh Imranul Haque, Agha Jan Akhtar, former chairman PQA , and Saeed Ahmed Khan, former chairman OGRA, in the supplementary reference.
The other accused include, Aamir Naseem, former member oil OGRA, Uzma Adil Khan, chairperson OGRA, Shahid M Islam, former MD PSO, and Abdul Samad Dawood Director Engro Corporation Limited, Hussain Dawood Chairman Engro Corporation Limited, M/s QED Consultant UK through its MD Phillip Nutman, Maverick Advisory through its CEO Sana Sadiq, Muhammad Amin MD Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), and Chaudhry Muhammad Aslam.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022