LAHORE - An accountability court on Monday allowed PML-N lawmaker Khawaja Saad Rafique to travel to Islamabad for attending the National Assembly session and adjourned the hearing of Paragon City reference until till December 23.

Besides Khawaja Saad Rafique, his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique as well as Nadeem Zia, Umar Zia, and Farhan Ali are also named in the reference. The accused were produced before the court of Syed Jawadul Hassan on expiry of their judicial remand.

On the complaint of Saad, the court directed the police to let media and lawyers enter courtroom during hearing.

After getting court permission,  the former railways minister complained that the police barred media and lawyers from entering the courtroom though trial in open court is the fundamental right of every person.

The court expressed displeasure and issued directives to allow media and lawyers to get in. The reference stated that the Khawaja brothers through their “benamidars” and with the abetment of former MPA Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia established a housing project in the name of Air Avenue. The project was later converted into a new housing project namely Paragon City Pvt Ltd, which NAB said was an illegal society and not approved by the Lahore Development Authority.

The former railways minister and his brother received monetary benefits of Rs58 million and Rs39 million respectively, from the society through proxy firms under the garb of consultancy services, it added. Khawaja brothers were nabbed on Dec 11, 2018.  A Lahore High Court bench dismissed post-arrest bail petitions of the Khawaja brothers on June 18. However, they had not approached the apex court in the matter yet.