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Court adjourns hearing of Dr Asim’s corruption reference

Court adjourns hearing of Dr Asim’s corruption reference

KARACHI: An accountability court has adjourned the hearing of a corruption reference against Dr Asim Hussain till November 9 over the absence of an accused Iqbal Z Ahmed, according to media on Saturday.

The accountability court resumed the hearing of Rs17 billion corruption reference against former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain and others. The prime suspect and co-accused were produced before the court today however, Iqbal Z Ahmed failed to appear in the hearing.

Ahmed’s lawyer told the court that he could not appear in the hearing as he is admitted in the hospital due to ailment.

Later, the court ordered concerned authorities to ensure the presence of all accused persons in the next hearing and adjourned the case till November 9.

An accountability court in 2017 had indicted Dr Hussain, ex-petroleum secretary Ejaz Chaudhry and others in an over Rs 460 billion corruption reference. Dr Hussain was taken into custody on August 26, 2015 by Rangers on different corruption charges.

After 19 months, his bail plea was referred to a referee judge for final orders. The referee judge, Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar, granted bail to the accused earlier this year.

Dr Asim faced charges of misusing his authority for getting plots allotted fraudulently and encroaching upon state land for expansion of Dr Ziauddin Hospital/Trust, money laundering, illegal gains, kickbacks, commission through fertiliser cartel for illegal curtailment of gas for exploitative price hike and defrauding people in the name of charity hospital.