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Paragon case adjourned until Aug 19

Lahore

July 9, 2020

LAHORE:An accountability court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of Paragon Housing scam until August 19.

PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman both accused in this case appeared before the court. Moreover, Qaiser Amin Butt who is a NAB’s witness against Khawaja brothers also appeared in an ambulance. Qaiser’s statement was due for Wednesday but could not be recorded due to his health condition. Previously, the court had issued his arrest warrants. However, the court suspended Qaiser’s warrants after his appearance.

The court has directed Khawaja brothers to appear before the court again on August 19. The arguments are likely to take place on the testimony of witnesses on next hearing. The court has also directed MS Services Hospital to conduct a medical examination of Qasier Amin Butt and submit a report in this regard.

According to the reference details, Qaiser Amin Butt, the main accused in the Paragon Housing scam, voluntarily disclosed the facts related to the commission of offence and requested for pardon under Section 26 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (NAO 1999), which was granted by the competent authority.

NAB filed reference against Khawaja Saad Rafique, Khawaja Salman Rafique, Nadeem Zia Pirzada, his son Umer Zia and Farhan Ali. The NAB stated in the reference that Saad Rafique, in connivance with his wife Ghazala Saad Rafique, brother Salman Rafique, Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia, started a housing project namely Air Avenue, which was an illegal housing society. Later, it was converted into M/s Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd. Saad Rafique and Salman Rafique, in connivance with Nadeem Zia and Qaiser Amin Butt, defrauded a large number of members of the housing society.

Saad opened a company, Executive Builders, in his and wife’s name, and later converted it into Paragon and withdrew a large sum of amount from the account of Executive Builders. The Khwaja brothers embezzled the funds of illegal housing society for personal gains, and collected heavy amounts despite clear directions from the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) that the society was illegal.

Khawaja Saad after his appearance before the NAB while talking to the media said that NAB had done a great injustice to them. We have worked hard for Pakistan but we have been made accused. Khawaja Salman Rafique while commenting on the government’s performance alleged that there was a conflict between the interest of the state and interest of the government. The government is in confrontation with each and every department, Salman added. He said the government was active against media freedom and its nothing but a scam and fraud in the name of democracy.