News Desk |
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested the former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday in a multi-billion-rupee case related to the award of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import contract.
The media reported that the former PM accompanied by PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal was on his way to attend a press conference when the bureau arrested him near the Thokar Niaz Beg interchange.
— Geo English (@geonews_english) July 18, 2019
Abbasi was initially resisting the arrest but eventually conceded. As per procedure, a medical team will conduct an examination and Abbasi is expected to be presented before an accountability court for physical remand tomorrow.
— Dunya News (@DunyaNews) July 18, 2019
NAB had summoned the former premier in the LNG case today but he did not appear before the bureau. However, Abbasi sought three days’ time to prepare for the hearing. He wrote that he couldn’t appear before NAB on a day’s notice, adding that he was willing to appear before the bureau but the timings should suit him.
The letter states that the ex-PM Abbasi is accused of commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices under section 9(a) of the National Accountability Ordinance
This was the fourth time he had been summoned in the case. The media reported that the bureau has been investigating him in the LNG corruption case. He has been accused of handing over a tender worth Rs220 billion to a company in which he was a shareholder himself. His name is also on the Exit Control List.
As the news of Abbasi’s arrest emerged, it surfaced on social media that NAB had issued warrants of arrests for Abbasi on July 16 and had ordered him to appear before NAB on July 18 (today). On Twitter, a journalist said that the arrest warrants were sent to the NAB team through WhatsApp and the ex-PM was taken into custody on a photo-copy of the letter.
نیب نے دو روز قبل وارنٹ گرفتاری جاری کرکے آج پیشی کے لیے بلایا ،،، شاہد خاقان عباسی کو گرفتار کرنے کا منصوبہ دو روز قبل بنایا گیا ،،، واٹس ایپ کے ذریعے وارنٹ گرفتاری لاہور بھیجے گئے اور واٹس ایپ پر بھیجے گئے وارنٹ پر سابق وزیر اعظم کو گرفتار کیا گیا ،،،
واٹس ایپ دور pic.twitter.com/JIQdOhbkGN
— Aamir Saeed Abbasi (@AmirSaeedAbbasi) July 18, 2019
“This is a photocopy. We don’t have original WoA [warrants of arrests] at the moment and we are arresting Ex-PM of Pakistan with this photocopy of WoA,” the letter carries the note attributed to a NAB official, Ch Asghar.
The letter states that the ex-PM Abbasi is accused of commission of the offence of corruption and corrupt practices under section 9(a) of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 and Schedule thereto. “I, therefore, in exercise of powers under section 18€ and 24(a) of the Ordinance, direct arrest of said Shahid Khaqan Abbasi,” the NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal stated in the warrants of arrest.
After the arrest, the letter further stated, Abbasi shall be produced before the court for authorization of detention for such period as may be necessary for finalization of the investigation.
Later, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal shared a tweet confirming that Khaqan was arrested on an uncertified photocopy.
Former PM Shahid Khaqan arrested on an uncertified photocopy. “N League Accountability Bureau (NAB)” arrests SVP of PMLN. Mega corruption scandals remain untouched under PTI umbrella. pic.twitter.com/depubUaRt7
— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) July 18, 2019