Trial of former minister, wife adjourned in illegal asset case

Dawn

PESHAWAR: An accountability court on Monday adjourned until May 27 the trial of former federal minister Dr Arbab Alamgir and his wife and former MNA, Asma Alamgir, on the charges of possessing illegal assets.
Judge Ishtiaq Ahmad summoned four prosecution witnesses to appear before him on the next hearing.
An official of the court said the statement of one of the witnesses was recorded before the hearing was adjourned.
Barrister Syed Masroor appeared for the defence along with his clients.
Few weeks ago, the trial court had re-framed charges against the couple and had deleted a paragraph of the earlier indictment related to their alleged foreign properties as the National Accountability Bureau had not produced any evidence in that respect.
Accountability court calls prosecution witnesses on next hearing
The couple has been facing trial for allegedly possessing assets to the tune of Rs332 million, which the NAB, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, claimed were disproportionate to known sources of their income.
The couple has denied the charge claiming that they were victimised by the bureau.
Activists of the Pakistan Peoples Party turned up in large numbers to support their leaders and shouted pro-PPP slogans on the road near the accountability court.
The policemen were deputed near the court on Khyber Road as strict security measures were adopted.
Meanwhile, Asma Alamgir, who was adviser to then prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, said on one hand, NAB had begun proceedings against her on the basis of anonymous complaints but on the other, it had turned a blind eye to the scandals of the current government.
Talking to reporters outside the courtroom, she asked high-ups of NAB to have some courage to proceed against Prime Minister Imran Khan in the official helicopter misuse case.
She said the NAB had continued inquiry against her and her husband for four years and finally she had to approach the Peshawar High Court for ending the continuous harassment by the bureau through issuing frequent call-up notices to her.
Ms Alamgir questioned why NAB had adopted silent on the alleged Rs340 million corruption in the KP Elementary and Secondary Education Foundation wherein thousands of ghost students and schools were discovered during an inquiry.
She said the provincial government had been trying to cover up the issue as several of its high-ups are allegedly involved in it.
The former MNA claimed that while admission was given to 9,000 students, the officials had received fee of 16,000 students.
She said she and her husband had been victimised by the NAB as no concrete evidence was produced against them in the case.

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