Rawalpindi: Accused declared PO in Haj scam case
RAWALPINDI: Ahmed Faiz, an accused in the Haj scam case, was declared proclaimed offender as he did not appear before the court on Tuesday. Special Judge Central Syed Ikhlaq Ahmed Shah also directed to shift Rao Shakeel, former director general Haj and main accused in the case, from the custody of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to Adiala Jail.
He will be presented before the court on August 2. Mr Shakeel is in NAB’s custody in Lahore in another corruption case. Despite several summons, Mr Faiz has not appeared before the court. According to investigators, he has fled from the country. On July 4, the court had issued arrest warrants of Ahmed Faiz before declaring him proclaimed offender on Tuesday.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) accuses Mr Faiz as the front man of Hamid Saeed Kazmi, former federal minister for religious affairs, saying he received Rs180 million in kickbacks for getting residences for pilgrims in Makkah.
The FIA has so far arrested the former minister, his brother-in-law Abdullah Khokhar, Mr Shakeel, and Aftabul Islam, former joint secretary religious, in the case.
A number of supporters of Mr Kazmi were presented outside the court. They chanted slogans in his favour. Talking with reporters, the former minister said the FIA had so far failed to produce any concrete evidence against him.
“Azam Swati did not prove allegations he leveled against me in Supreme Court.” He said a leader of a banned outfit was recently released on bail in Lahore because of lack of evidence. Mr Kazmi added that he also deserved “same treatment” as there was no evidence to show his involvement in the Haj scam.