ISLAMABAD - An accountability court (AC) on Tuesday extended judicial remand of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and ex-finance minister Miftah Ismail in LNG import agreement case for another 14 days.

Meanwhile, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has filed another reference against these accused for allegedly misusing powers in the said case, and causing a loss of Rs68 billion to the national exchequer.

The two accused were produced before AC-I Judge Muhammad Bashir after the completion of their judicial remand. The NAB prosecutor presented the investigation progress report.

At the outset of the hearing, Abbasi claimed that a LNG terminal, cheaper than this, couldn’t be installed anywhere in the world. He prayed to the court to allow him to use laptop in jail for consultations with his legal team on the case.

Miftah Ismail said that he was just being harassed at the moment.

Later, the NAB Rawalpindi moved a reference against nine accused, including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah Ismail and Sheikh Imranul Haq.

Akram Durrani granted interim bail

The reference states that the accused had misused their powers to give monetary benefit to a private company of worth Rs21 billion between March 2015 and September 2019.

The loss to the national kitty would reach Rs47 billion till 2029 and the people would have to bear this extra burden of Rs68 billion in the shape of gas bills in fifteen years.

The NAB had named former secretary and managing director of Ministry of Petroleum as prosecution witnesses against the accused.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday granted pre-arrest bail to Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F)’s leader and former Federal Minister Akram Khan Durrani in NAB investigation against him.

The Bench also served notices to the respondents and sought reply till December 18.

A Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, conducted the hearing on four separate bail petitions of Durrani.

The petitioner had sought pre-arrest bails in four cases pertaining to alleged holding of assets beyond known sources of income, bullet proof vehicle, recruitment in Housing Ministry and misuse of his authority. The petitioner stated that previously the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had told this court that it was not going to arrest him in investigations against him.

After the Bench disposed of the petition, the NAB raided his house in Peshawar for his arrest.

The court granted interim bail to the former Minister and sought NAB’s reply till December 18th.