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Khawaja Asif sent to jail on judicial remand in assets beyond means case

Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif: Source: FILE.

LAHORE: An accountability court on Friday sent PML-N leader Khawaja Asif to jail on 14-day judicial remand in assets beyond income case.

As per details, the case was heard by the accountability court’s judge Jawadul Hassan, where the accused was produced before the court in strict security.

During the proceedings, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s legal representative sought physical remand of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader.

He said that millions of rupees had been deposited in different bank accounts of the accused, whereas, Rana Abdul Waheed had deposited Rs30 million. When the persons got interrogated, they said that Asif had given the cash to deposit it to the accounts, he added.

Asif had not disclosed the sources of income to get Rs280 million in his accounts, whereas, he also failed to provide satisfactory answers for making Rs60 million investments in different companies, said the prosecutor.

In 2009, Rs100 million had been deposited to his account from a foreign country, he added. The defense lawyer argued that the investigators want Asif to carry out his own investigation.

Asif’s lawyer argued that physical remand could not be given on the basis of the prosecutor’s arguments as he has provided all documents required to NAB for investigation.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, the accountability court discarded NAB’s plea for physical remand of Khawaja Asif and approved judicial remand of 14-days.

On December 29, NAB had arrested Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Asif in assets beyond means case.

PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb had confirmed Asif had been taken into custody in the backdrop of an ongoing investigation into allegations of him possessing assets beyond known sources of income.

Aurangzeb said Asif was arrested from near PML-N general secretary Ahsan Iqbal’s house. According to sources, a consultative session of the party was being held to debate whether PML-N will take part in Senate elections. Following the meeting, when Asif was on his way back, he was arrested near Iqbal’s residence.

The spokesperson of NAB said the PML-N leader had earlier been summoned for an investigation, however; he failed to provide the required evidence.

Asif held an iqama (work permit) from 2004 to 2008, adding that he earned a total of Rs136 million for his services as a consultant legal adviser, the spokesperson added.

In 2019, NAB and the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) had started action against the close confidant of former premier Nawaz Sharif on the allegation of illegally establishing a housing project in his hometown Sialkot.

According to NAB, evidence shows Asif established the Kent Housing Society, which has been operating illegally.

 In November 2020, NAB had sought records from him regarding sources and local amount of funds invested in the project by him, his family members (wife and son) and other partners/close relatives.