Gilani seeks exemption from hearing in corruption reference

Gilani seeks exemption from hearing in corruption reference

ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court (AC) of Islamabad Wednesday sought reply from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the plea of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani seeking permanent exemption from hearing in a reference against him pertaining to the misuse of authority for a publicity campaign through M/s Midas Pvt Ltd.

AC Judge Arshad Malik conducted the hearing against Gillani and others in the corruption reference filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

During the course of proceeding, the former prime minister appeared before the court and requested it to grant him permanent exemption from the hearing. He stated in his plea that he could not appear before it due to security issues.

Gillani stated that he had been appearing before the courts in Karachi in four different cases and it was difficult for him to attend the proceedings in Islamabad as well.

The court served a notice to NAB on the plea to submit reply on it on the next date of hearing. The court also directed Gilani to submit surety bonds of Rs1 million to ensure his appearance.

The hearing of the case was adjourned till October 22.

It may be mentioned here that the court had summoned Gilani in a case after the NAB Rawalpindi earlier this month filed a reference against him over the misuse of authority to grant a publicity campaign against PPRA laws to a private company.

Former principal information officer Muhammad Saleem, former Universal Services Fund (USF) chief executive officer (CEO) Riaz Asher Siddiqui, former secretary IT ministry Farooq Awan, Midas CEO Inam Akbar, former Universal Service Fund (USF) company secretary Syed Hasan Shikoh, and former personal assistant to the public relations officer IT Muhammad Hanif were nominated as the co-accused in the case.

According to NAB reference, the accused allegedly ran an illegal marketing media campaign for USF. The national exchequer had a loss of Rs128 million due to the actions of the accused.