Home South Asia Pakistan LHC dismisses Saad Rafique’s post-arrest bail

LHC dismisses Saad Rafique’s post-arrest bail

NAB has named Khawaja brothers as the main suspects in the corruption reference filed earlier this year. The anti-graft body has accused Khawaja brothers of wrongfully gaining approximately Rs18.2 million from M/s Paragon City (Pvt) Limited in their bank accounts and they failed to account for the illegal gains.

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News Desk |

The Lahore High Court (LHC) dismissed on Tuesday post-arrest bail of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Saad Rafique.

On December 11, 2018, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique from the LHC premises after the high court had dismissed their request for an extension in the pre-arrest bail in corruption cases.

NAB, while revealing grounds for their arrest stated that Khawaja brothers had started a housing project named Air Avenue – which was later on changed into Paragon City Limited. NAB has maintained that the record showed that it was an illegal housing society.

The NAB lawyer explained that Khawaja brothers had won Rs49 million through prize bonds, therefore, it could not be proven that they owned assets beyond known means.

The anti-graft body has accused Khawaja brothers and others of defrauding large members of society. NAB said that the accused also embezzled the illegal housing society projects funds for personal gains, adding that the accused were collecting heavy amounts despite clear directions from the Lahore Development Authority (LDA).

NAB has named Khawaja brothers as the main suspects in the corruption reference filed earlier this year. NAB has accused Khawaja brothers of wrongfully gaining approximately Rs18.2 million from M/s Paragon City (Pvt) Limited in their bank accounts and they failed to account for the illegal gains.

Khawaja Brothers and Prize Bonds

During the hearing on Tuesday, the media reported, the NAB counsel informed the LHC’s two-member bench headed by Justice Baqir Najafi that the anti-corruption watchdog had initiated an inquiry against both brothers for allegedly owning assets beyond known means but it was closed in 2007 after they both won prize bonds.

Read more: PML-N’s Khawaja brothers arrested

“How are prize bonds related to [the inquiry]?” Justice Najafi asked. The NAB lawyer explained that Khawaja brothers had won Rs49 million through prize bonds, therefore, it could not be proven that they owned assets beyond known means.

Amjad Pervez, Khawaja brothers’ counsel, had earlier informed the court that the cases of alleged corruption were also created against Saad during Pervez Musharraf’s era but that after three years, NAB could not find anything.

“Political cases were created against the brothers then, and political cases are being created against them now,” Pervez said. He had denied that the siblings had anything to do with the Paragon housing scheme, adding that “the project was built 15 years ago but not a single document has been found that proves that they are the owners.”

NAB Files Reference Against Khawaja Brothers, others

On May 31, NAB filed a reference in an accountability court against the former railways minister Khwaja Saad Rafiq, his brother former provincial minister Salman Rafiq and three others in the Paragon City scam.

The reference stated that the Khwaja brothers through their “benamidars” and with the alleged abetment of former MPA Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia established the housing project.

While accusing the Khawaja brothers of wrongfully gaining approximately Rs18.2 million from M/s Paragon City (Pvt) Limited, the reference said, Khwaja Saad in order to achieve his nefarious designs and to disguise origin of his illegitimate pecuniary benefits established a proprietorship concern namely M/s Saadan Associates whereby he wrongfully gained an amount of Rs58 million from M/s Executive Builders, a proxy of Paragon City, in last few years under the garb of services of consultancy.

Similarly, the bureau accused Khwaja Salman of same corrupt practice by establishing M/s KSR Associates and receiving Rs39 million from the M/s Executive Builders under the garb of consultancy services. Other accused – Nadeem Zia, Umar Zia and Farhan Ali – allegedly owned the Paragon City.

Read more: Noose tightening around Khawaja brothers: Qaiser Butt arrested by NAB

The reference stated that the Khwaja brothers through their “benamidars” and with the alleged abetment of former MPA Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia established the housing project.

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