Rawalpindi: Ex-minister’s bail plea hearing put off Human smuggling case
RAWALPINDI: A special judge here on Thursday put off hearing till Saturday after hearing arguments of both sides in the bail application of a former federal minister arrested for his alleged involvement in human smuggling and preparation of fake documents.
Special judge Shaukat Ali Sajid directed the prosecution to provide the court necessary facts about the allegation levelled against Prof Mushtaq Victor, former state minister for minorities, on the next date of hearing.
Mr Victor, through his lawyer Zulfiqar Abbas Naqvi, pleaded in his bail application that he had not sent people abroad by showing them as his wives and children.
He maintained that being a member of the National Assembly he got his personal details registered with NA Secretariat and whenever an MNA applied for passport, his personal information was verified from the National Assembly.
Secondly all those who are said to have applied for visas with different embassies by showing themselves wives or children of the minister had obtained their national identity cards from Nadra which contained the family tree of all NIC holders. The prosecution has so far failed to establish whether anyone was related to the minister.
Thirdly no one has accused the minister of extorting money from them on the pretext of arranging their visas.
About the allegation that Mr Victor arranged visas for five men for Germany, his lawyer maintained that two of them were refused visas and the other three did not make it to Germany as their travel documents had not been produced in the court.
According to the defence lawyer, 19 people, including the minister, applied for Italian visa after Mr Victor received a formal invitation from the Vatican to attend the coronation of the new pope. Ten of the applicants were refused visas, while four were not allowed to enter Italy. Only five attended the ceremony and all their documents were genuine.
In response to the allegation that the minister during his tenure tried to send a businessman to a western country and supported his case with his official recommendation letter after obtaining Rs225,000, the defence lawyer said the investigators had been looking into the case for the last two years and were not able to determine whether the minister had obtained money.
He claimed that the previous regime had implicated Mushtaq Victor in a false case as they feared the minister would change loyalties.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.