NAB response on bail plea in arms case sought (Dawn (Pakistan))

A Peshawar High Court bench on Tuesday directed the National Accountability Bureau chairman and its Khyber Pakhtunkhwa director general to file response on the bail petition of former chief minister Ameer Haider Hoti’s brother in the famous weapon procurement corruption case.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Mohammad Daud Khan directed the two NAB officials to file comments on the petition within seven days.
The directions were issued after lawyer for the petitioner, Qazi Jawad Ahsanullah, completed preliminary arguments during the hearing.
Ghazan was arrested by the NAB Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on April 15, 2014, after the high court denied him prearrest bail in the case. Later on Sept 17, the high court, too, rejected his bail plea.
The NAB has alleged that an approver in the case and a private contractor, Arshad Majeed, claimed he had paid Rs195 million to Ghazan through his front man, Raza Ali, who was also under arrest in the case.
It alleged that in return of the payment, Ghazan asked Arshad Majeed to increase the price of the bulletproof jackets he was supplying to the provincial police from the approved one.
The high court has already granted bail to Ali Raza on Jan 28 after he reached a plea bargain with the NAB and agreed to pay the money given by Arshad Majeed.
A Rs2.03 billion reference was filed last year against 10 of the suspects, including Ghazan, Ali Raza, former provincial police officer Malik Naveed and seven other police officials.
Lawyer Qazi Jawad said suspect Ali Raza had told the NAB that he didn’t pay anything to his client and that he had already paid the NAB the money agreed upon under the plea bargain, so there was no justification of his client’s detention.
He said his client couldn’t be denied bail or kept behind bars merely on the basis of an approver’s statement.
The lawyer said there was no evidence on record to support the statement of Arshad Majeed. He said his client had been doing business in UAE for years and got nothing to do with the police’s affairs.
The NAB claims over Rs7 billion was released by the provincial government for the procurement of weapons, vehicles and equipment for the police to maintain law and order in the province.
Approver Arshad Majeed was released on bail on the high court’s orders after he agreed to voluntarily return Rs102 million.
He is not named in the reference as the NAB claimed he had turned approver.