LONDON - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain was granted an extension in bail for the fifth time after he appeared at London’s Southwark police station on Monday to attend a bail hearing in the money laundering case.

The MQM leader was granted bail extension for four months, he will now appear before police in February 2016, said a private TV channel report.

He earlier left his Edgeware residence accompanied by associates identified as Muhammad Anwar, Barrister Saif and Farooq Sattar.

Altaf Hussain was first given a medical checkup to confirm whether he is healthy enough to answer questions, London police then questioned him.

As money laundering is considered a serious offence in the United Kingdom, imprisonment could range from anywhere between six months to 10 years, depending on the amount of money laundered.

The MQM leader was arrested on June 3, 2014 during the course of a money laundering investigation initiated in July 2013 by the London Metropolitan Police, prompting thousands of people in Karachi to stage a sit-in calling for his release.

He was then shifted to Wellington Hospital over health concerns and underwent angiography and other tests. Having been discharged from the hospital, Hussain was taken to the Southwark police station where he was questioned for nine hours. He was released on bail four days after his arrest in 2014, and granted four bail extensions:

During their investigations, the London Metropolitan Police had discovered ‘a considerable amount of money’ during raids on Hussain’s residence and office in London.

A statement from the police had said that the cash was found when a counter-terrorism unit of police raided Hussain’s office on Dec 6, 2012 under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act in connection with the investigation of Imran Farooq murder case. Imran Farooq, one of MQM’s founding members and a confidant of Altaf Hussain, was murdered in London in 2010. Pakistani authorities, who are cooperating with British police, had arrested three suspects in connection with the murder earlier in 2015.

A Scotland Yard team had been given access to all the three accused and the team had concluded investigations inside Pakistan in September.

However, no decision has been taken as yet to hand over the suspects to the United Kingdom, the Interior Ministry had said last month.