Rawalpindi: Minister’s acquittal plea turned down
RAWALPINDI: A special court on Friday rejected the acquittal plea of former minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi from the Hajj corruption case and fixed May 30 for his indictment and other accused. Special Judge Central Khalid Shabbir observed that the acquittal appeal filed by the former minister was premature and could not be entertained at this stage. Mr. Kazmi’s lawyer Sardar Naseer told the court that the former minister had been behind the bars for over 14 months while the prosecution could not produce even a single evidence or witness in the court that would connect Mr. Kazmi with the corruption in 2010 Haj arrangements.
He said that the charge sheet submitted to the court by the prosecution did not mention any direct evidence against his client; therefore, he should be acquitted.
He pleaded that the investigators also examined the bank accounts of his client and found no illegal transactions.
Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, special prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said that the Supreme Court had already taken a suo motu notice of the Haj corruption and it was still pending there.
He said though there was no direct evidence against Mr. Kazmi but the passport of middleman, Ahmed Faiz, a building supervisor who received kickbacks and was declared a proclaimed offender, was issued on the order of Mr. Kazmi.
“Until Faiz surrenders himself in the court and exonerates the former minister, he could not be acquitted,” the prosecutor added.