KARACHI: An Accountability Court today (Friday) indicted former Federal Petroleum Minister Dr Asim Hussain on corruption charges on a reference pertaining to Rs 462 billion funds.

Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Dr Asim appeared before the court amid tight security; the ex-minister along with five other alleged corrupt officials pleaded not guilty to the accusations before the court. Secretary Petroleum Chaudhry Ijaz was also produced at the hearing.

Responding to the court’s question, Dr Asim Hussain alleged that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had submitting fake documents in the case against him. Islamabad High Court (IHC) has already concluded the case, he added.

According to the charge-sheet, Dr Asim stands accused of embezzling Rs 462 billion from public exchequer while servings as Minister for Petroleum in PPP government.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has alleged that Dr Asim Hussain abused his position as Petroleum Minister to grant tenders to his favorite bidders, thus causing loss to public exchequer.

He is charged of misinforming the Council of Common Interests (CCI) on matters pertaining to natural gas and was allegedly involved in creating an artificial shortage of natural gas during the PPP government.

Dr Asim Hussain also allegedly used unfair means to obtain land for his Zia ud Din Trust hospital in Karachi from Karachi Development Authority says the NAB charge-sheet.

During court proceeding Asim Hussain requested the judge to also include his denial in the charge-sheet, which was accepted by the Anti-Corruption Court

The court asked that witnesses be presented for cross examination in the next hearing on May 14.

Talking to the media before the hearing, Dr Asim Hussain alleged he was a ‘political captive’ of the ruling political party. A number of corrupt persons were roaming around freely with security protocols while he was in jail, he said. The allegedly corrupt former minister said that he was given 13 books by the accountability bureau and 12 of those were about meter readings.

He mocked the alleged case against him saying that the bureau as fake and said maybe NAB will also make him face a bogus case of stealing someone’s goats.

He said a commission was formed to probe corrupt people while he was enduring captivity. He demanded the government to establish a judicial commission to probe alleged embezzlement of funds by him.

Dr Hussain was taken into custody from Sindh Higher Education Commission (HEC) in August last year. Rangers acquired his 90-day remand and a terrorism case was lodged in North Nazimabad Police Station in November.

He is facing charges in an anti-terrorism court (ATC) for alleged treatment of target killers in his Dr Ziauddin Hospital in Karachi in this case in North Nazimabad Police Station includes anti-terrorism sections.

The ex-minister is accused of providing safe havens to terrorists and target killers belonging to armed wings of political parties in his hospital.