Sheikh Rasheed becomes witness against Abbasi in LNG scam case

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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rasheed, has become a witness against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi accused in Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) scam case.

Major progress was made in the corruption reference against Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other accused persons as Sheikh Rasheed became a witness in the LNG contract case. He will record his statement in an accountability court during its next hearing.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) will produce an overall 59 witnesses in the court where the petitioner Sheikh Rasheed will be the first witness in the case.

Four officers of power ministry including Hassan Bhatti, Nawaz Ahmed Virk, Abdul Rasheed Jokhio and Umer Saeed are also among the witnesses. Moreover, acting general manager of Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) Fasihuddin and the director of Port Qasim Authority, Jamil Ahmed, will also testify in the court.

 Earlier on December 12, the anti-corruption watchdog had filed the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) reference again after addressing objections raised by the accountability court. The reference was filed against 10 accused including former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former finance minister Miftah Ismail and others.

The registrar of the accountability court had earlier raised objections over the reference submitted in Islamabad accountability court.

The NAB reference was consisting of 8000 pages and shifted to the accountability court II from the court number I of Islamabad. The court had accepted the reference for hearing. Accountability Judge Azam Khan will hear the LNG reference.

Abbasi was arrested in connection with the case in July. He is accused of awarding a 15-year contract for a terminal against the rules when he was the petroleum minister in former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet. The case was closed by NAB in 2016 but then reopened in 2018