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Dr Asim Hussain gets exemption from appearance in corruption case

Karachi

June 3, 2020

An accountability court on Tuesday accepted the application filed by former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain to seek exemption from appearing at the hearing of an over Rs450 billion corruption reference which the NAB had filed against him and others four years ago.

Dr Asim Hussain, who is a close aide of former president Asif Zardari and owner of Ziauddin Hospital, some retired bureaucrats and private persons are standing trial for allegedly misusing their authority and causing a huge loss to the national exchequer through fraud.

The National Accountability Bureau had filed the reference against them in February 2016. It pertains to an alleged scam, in which gas was illegally curtailed to the agriculture sector to benefit a particular group associated with the fertiliser industry.

NAB contends that through this phenomenon, the price of fertilisers was arbitrarily hiked in the country and the minister received kickbacks in return. Furthermore, the same reference includes charges of land scam, public fraud and money laundering. The overall amount involved in this investigation is Rs462.5 billion.

Former petroleum and natural resources secretary Ejaz Chaudhry, Karachi Docks Labour Board’s former chief executive officer Safdar Hussain, KDA’s ex-directors Syed Athar Hussain and Masood Haider Jaffery, and Ziauddin’s group finance director Abdul Hameed were named as co-accused in this case. The accountability court has adjourned the next hearing of the case till July 1.