ISLAMABAD – PML-N’s leader Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Wednesday was handed over to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) by an Accountability Court (AC) on one-day transit remand. The court also directed the investigators to produce the accused before the relevant court in Lahore on Thursday (today).
The NAB officials produced the PMLN’s MNA and former federal minister Khawaja Asif before the court. He was arrested by the anti-graft authority on Tuesday night in connection with an investigation involving his assets and properties which are said to be disproportionate to his known sources of income.
During the course of proceedings, NAB’s prosecutor Sohail Arif prayed the court to grant two day transit remand of the accused to produce him before court in Lahore.
The judge asked the NAB to shift Khawaja Asif to Lahore today to this the prosecutor replied in yes. Khawaja Asif’s lawyer opposed the transit remand and argued that the defence had not yet been shared the grounds of the arrest. He prayed the court to order for release of his client which was rejected by the judge. The court observed that the NAB had requested for transit remand, the remaining matter was associated with the Lahore accountability court.
The lawyer said that NAB Rawalpindi had started investigation on March 28, 2018 which had been closed and then the case was shifted to Lahore office. This case was related to Rawalpindi and this court could give directions for his client’s release, he contended.
Khawaja Asif adopted the stance that he had not been told the reasons for arrest to this the prosecutor said that the grounds and warrants were shared with him at time of arrest. Khawaja Asif said that the documents had no signatures. Upon this the court ordered the NAB to share copy of warrants with the accused having signatures.
The defense lawyer said that there was no ground for his client’s arrest they were here for his release. After listening arguments from both sides, the court granted one-day transit remand of Khawaja Asif and directed the anti-graft body to present him to the relevant court in Lahore on Thursday.
The court stated in written order that Khawaja Asif had been arrested on December 29. Chairman NAB had issued arrest warrants against him on December 23. It further said that according to the NAB there was an inquiry continues against the accused in Lahore NAB office.
The prosecution had requested for two day transit remand but the court had given one-day keeping in view the travel distance from Islamabad to Lahore. The court had directed the NAB investigation officer to present the accused before relevant court on December 31, or before it.