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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court, on Wednesday, granted pre-arrest bail to senior advocate and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Babar Awan in the £190 million National Crime Agency (NCA) scam commonly known as the Al-Qadir Trust case till September 5.

Accountability Court duty judge Abul Hasnaat Muhammad Zulqarnain, while hearing the case, granted bail to Awan till September 5 in the Al-Qadir Trust case.

The court issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and barred the bureau from the arrest of the accused. Awan filed a pre-arrest bail petition through his counsels, Peer Masood Chasti and Naveed Hayat Malik. The petition adopted the stance that the NAB issued notice to him to appear before it as a witness.

The petitioner responded to such notices, and recently another notice was issued to the petitioner for an appearance before the NAB investigation team on August 23.

The petition says that the two initial notices called the petitioner to appear as a witness. However, in the recent notice dated August 21, in the last paragraph, a wrong assertion is made and it caused grave apprehension of arrest.

The petitioner was called to appear as a witness before the NAB in the case of Al-Qadir University against former prime minister Imran Khan, wherein, the petitioner gave his version on record, however, notice dated August 21, smacks malice; hence this petition. There is an imminent danger of the arrest of the petitioner which is triggered by political motivation and is aimed at causing sheer harassment.

It says that the petitioner was granted general adjustment by the Supreme Court of Pakistan when received the first notice in the second week of June 2023 when he was abroad, the petitioner responded accordingly and soon thereafter, the petitioner landed back home as a responsible citizen, who believes in the supremacy of constitution and who is struggling for decades to uphold rule of law. The petitioner has joined the investigation afore-noted and will join when required.

He prayed that under the facts and circumstances mentioned above the petitioner may kindly be granted bail before arrest in the above notice dated August 21 till the final disposal of the case on merit.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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