Illegal assets case against ex-minister, wife adjourned

Dawn

PESHAWAR: An accountability court on Tuesday adjourned until April 29 the trial of former federal minister Dr Arbab Alamgir and his wife and former MNA, Asma Alamgir, in the illegal assets case filed by the National Accountability Bureau, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Judge Ishtiaq Ahmad summoned four prosecution witnesses on the next hearing.
An official of the court said the lead counsel for the couple, Barrister Syed Masroor Shah, had sought adjournment.
Asma wonders why NAB silent on BRT issues
He added that two witnesses had turned up but they didn’t have the complete relevant records.
Few weeks ago, the trial court had re-framed charges against the couple and deleted a paragraph of the earlier indictment related to their alleged foreign properties as the NAB had not produced any evidence about them.
Dr Arbab Alamgir and Asma Alamgir are now facing trial for allegedly possessing assets to the tune of Rs332 million, which, the NAB, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, claimed were disproportionate to the known sources of their income.
The couple denied the charge and decided to stand trial, claiming that they have been victimised by the bureau.
Policemen were deputed near the accountability courts on Khyber Road in large numbers as part of strict security measures.
Workers of Pakistan Peoples Party also turned up to show solidarity with the couple.
Meanwhile, Ms Asma, who was an adviser to then prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, told reporters that it was ironic that the NAB didn’t take notice of the massive irregularities and issues in the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Bus Rapid Transit project after the government’s own inspection team pointed them out and that kickbacks of Rs7 billion in the project were reported.
She said the bus project was termed a burden on the exchequer due to several irregularities.
Ms Asma said Prime Minister Imran Khan had been hampering the accountability of his friends and that the NAB had been acting on his whims.
She said the NAB chairman recently transferred the bureau’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa director general after Premier Imran Khan had expressed reservations about him.
About any expected meeting between former president Asif Zardari and opposition leader in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, the former MNA said timings were important in politics and currently, such time had not arrived, which necessitated their meeting.
“We have been victimised by the NAB as no concrete evidence has been produced against us in this case,” he said.

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