LNG case: Shahid Khaqan Abbasi files bail plea in IHC

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ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has filed a post-arrest bail petition in Islamabad High Court.

The petition filed by Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s counsel Barrister Zafarullah Khan in the high court. The Ministry of Law and the National Accountability Bureau have been made respondents in the plea.

The petition seeks the high court to approve the bail until completion of his trial in NAB’s LNG reference.

A copy of the court decision with regard to bail granted to Shaikh Imran ul Haq, a co-accused in the LNG case, has also been attached to the petition.

“The petitioner has been in NAB detention for 191 days and the real motive of the accountability bureau is only to harass the petitioner,” the plea argued. It was initiated for his media trial, according to the plea.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed an interim reference against the petitioner till now, the petition said.

The petitioner and other accused were not even provided the copies of the reference so far, the petition said.

Abbasi pleaded to the court for approval of his post-arrest bail in the case.

PML-N supreme leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who is in London, had reportedly asked party colleague Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to seek his release from prison on bail.

The former premier instructed Abbasi to contest corruption allegations leveled against him by the NAB after coming out of jail.

Wasting energies in facing accountability based on political vendetta will serve no purpose, Sharif was quoted as saying.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had previously refused to file a bail plea.

Earlier, on Jan 21, an accountability court had extended the judicial remand of Shahid Khaqan Abbasi till Feb 04 in LNG reference.

LNG scandal

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah Ismail, ex-PSO MD Imranul Haq, and others are facing charges of corruption over awarding an LNG import contract allegedly at exorbitant rates in 2015, which caused a big loss to the national exchequer.

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

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