Rawalpindi: Kazmi’s acquittal plea rejected
RAWALPINDI: A trial court on Friday rejected the acquittal plea of former minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi in the Hajj corruption case, terming it ‘premature’ as around 89 witnesses have yet to record their statements, including Pakistan’s Ambassador in Saudi Arabia Umar Khan Sherzai. Announcing the ruling, FIA Special Judge Central Khalid Shabbir said that the allegations levelled against the former minister were of a “serious nature” which needed to be examined from all angles, and his acquittal plea was ‘premature’.
“The case would be decided on merit after going through the statements of witnesses, who have yet to appear before the court to record their testimonies,” he observed. Judge Khalid Shabbir issued a second contempt-of-court notice to FIA Deputy Director Naveed Tareen for not submitting the challan of the case, even after two years. The court adjourned the hearing until May 30 to indict accused Hamid Saeed Kazmi, former director general (Hajj) Rao Shakeel and former joint secretary (Hajj) Aftabul Islam Raja in the case.