Court adjourns hearing of Dr Asim corruption cases

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KARACHI: An Accountability Court has adjourned the hearing of Rs462.5 billion corruption reference filed against Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) leader and former Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain and others till August 16.

The corruption reference against Dr Asim and other accused, came up for hearing before the court on Thursday but the defence counsel sought time for submission of reply.

Dr Asim’s lawyer stated that the index provided to them was old, requesting the judge to grant them more time for submitting a response to it. While accepting the request, the court adjourned the hearing till August 16.

Meanwhile, the same court adjourned hearing of case Rs 17.34 billion embezzlement against Dr Asim and other accused until August 19. SSGC former MD Zuhair Siddiqui, Shoaib Warsi, Bashrat Mirza, Athar Hussain, Safdar Hussain and other accused were present during the hearing.

During the hearing, Dr Asim did not appear before the court.

While expressing its displeasure over absence of the accused, the court said that it would hear the case on day-to-day basis and directed the counsels to ensure the appearance of accused persons.

Dr Asim has been facing charges that he had allegedly deprived the public exchequer of Rs462.5billion by misusing his powers as Petroleum Minister during the PPP-led government.

One reference filed against him and other accused by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) states the charges of money laundering, public fraud and land scam. The overall loss caused by Dr Asim to the national exchequer is Rs 462.5 billion as per the reference.

In another reference, the NAB had alleged that a private company was allowed to process gas from five fields in lower Sindh without conducting an open auction, incurring a huge loss of Rs17.34 billion to the national exchequer.

The total loss caused by Dr Asim in both the references is Rs479.84 billion, the NAB maintained.

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