LNG scam NAB to seek ex-premier Abbasi’s remand today

Court approves ex-premier Abbasi’s 13-day physical remand in LNG case

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: Accountability Court has approved a 13-day physical remand of former premier and senior leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in LNG case, on Friday.

Earlier, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) produced Shahid Khaqan Abbasi before the court and requested for the physical remand. Accountability court Judge Muhammad Bashir conducted the hearing.

Earlier on Thursday, NAB had arrested Shahid Khaqan Abbasi near Thokar Niaz Baig toll plaza in Lahore in connection with an ongoing investigation into the ‘illegal’ award of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) contract with Qatar.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has been ‘accused of commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices’ by the NAB.

NAB sources said former secretary Abid Saeed has become approver against Abbasi in LNG case and decision to arrest former PM was made after secretary testified against Abbasi.

He was shifted to NAB Rawalpindi after the arrest. The accountability bureau had served him four notices to appear before it.

Abbasi underwent a medical checkup latenight at NAB Rawalpindi where his blood pressure, sugar level and other necessary tests were conducted. NAB also sought information from Abbasi for medicines to be used.

Let it be known that Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had skipped the NAB Rawalpindi appearance in a case pertaining to the LNG scandal earlier on Thursday.

The apex court on September 10, 2018 directed the NAB to complete the inquiry against Abbasi and others for the alleged corruption in the LNG contract.

As the minister for petroleum and natural resources, he has been accused of granting contract on LNG Terminal to ETPL, Tri-partial agreement, LSA with EETPL and LNG import from Qatar etc.

In June 2018, the NAB approved inquiry against former premier Nawaz Sharif and Abbasi, who was the former minister for petroleum and natural resources at that time, in granting contract of LNG terminal for 15 years to their ‘favourite’ company.

It was also observed that this contract had allegedly caused a loss of billions of rupees to the national exchequer.

In January, the NAB interrogated former finance minister Miftah Ismail in the same case.

According to NAB documents, the contract for the LNG import and distribution was awarded to the Elengy Terminal, a subsidiary of Engro, in 2013 in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules and relevant laws. 

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will present former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi before accountability court on Friday (today).

Earlier on Thursday, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was arrested by NAB team while en-route on Thokar Niaz Baig road on Thursday, over liquefied petroleum gas (LNG) scandal.

PML-N leader will be presented before the court of Judge Muhammad Bashir. The NAB will seek his 14-day remand.

Arrest warrants for the politician were issued prior by Chairman NAB Justice retd. Javed Iqbal.

The former prime minister is facing charges of corruption and awarding a LNG import contract at exorbitant rates in 2015, which caused big loss to the national exchequer. Sources said that he had granted a tender worth Rs220 bn to a firm in which he himself was a shareholder.

NAB sources said that Abbasi, in 2013, had awarded a LNG import and distribution contract to the Elengy Terminal in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules and relevant laws.

Earlier on April 26, the names of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail and five others had been placed in exit control list in an inquiry into the LNG scandal.

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