Miftah’s lawyer cross examined three witnesses in LNG reference

ISLAMABAD (APP): The defence lawyer on Tuesday continued cross examination with prosecution witnesses in LNG reference against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others.

Accountability Court-II Judge Muhammad Azam Khan heard the graft reference against Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, his son Abdullah Khaqan Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail and others.

At the outset of hearing, Miftah Ismail’s lawyer Tanveer Iqbal Advocate cross-examined NAB witness and Assistant Economic Adviser, Ministry of Finance Allah Nawaz.

The witness said that the funds collected for gas infrastructure development couldn’t be utilized without the approval of finance division.

He said that the funds worth Rs1.19 billion were released for the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India pipeline project. He had mentioned these funds in his statement, he said.

The witness said that it was not correct that he had given the statement just to strengthen the case of prosecution.

He further stated that it was true that no funds were released in the name of Sui Southern Gas instead it were only released to the Interstate Gas.

After this, the cross examination of next witness and Sui Southern Gas Chief Manager SCADA Distribution Sajid Raza was done by the lawyer.

The witness said that it was true that the demand for gas was increasing and the available gas was not enough to meet it.

The LNG was imported up to 2010-11 but there was no need of it, he said, adding that Sui Southern Gas did not send a demand to the government to import LNG.

On a query of the defence, the witness said that the situation did not change and after that there was enough gas for four or five years. As far as his knowledge, the Interstate Gas was a department under Petroleum Division, he added.

The defense lawyer said that the chart submitted by the witness showed a shortfall, adding that whether the witness was deviating from this. To which the witness said that he was not deviating from the chart, adding that he showed the shortfall that the production was not going according to demand. It did not say that LNG was necessary to eliminate the shortfall, he said.

Witness Sajid Raza and General Manager Sui Southern Gas Company Fasihuddin Fawad were also cross-examined by Muftah Ismail’s lawyer.

After this, the court adjourned the hearing till June 29.