Rawalpindi - An accountability court here on Tuesday sentenced 36 years imprisonment and fine of $2.4 million to three accused, including former project director of Nizampur Cement Plant, for embezzlement of funds in import of 40,000 metric tons coal from Indonesia.

The court disqualified the accused under NAB Ordinance Section 15 for holding any public office. The court also imposed ban on the accused to obtain any loan from any bank. Soon after court’s verdict, police arrested all the three accused from the courtroom. According to details, Accountability Judge Chaudhry Anwaar Ahmed Khan took up coal import funds embezzlement reference. Muhammad Tariq Bhatti, special public prosecutor of National Accountability Bureau (NAB), appeared before the court and concluded his arguments seeking punishment for the three as during trial they were found guilty.

The judge laid down his verdict by awarding 36 years imprisonment to three accused including Muhammad Shaffique, former project director of Nizampur Cement Plant, Jamil Malik, owner of Unique Agencies, and Brig (Retd) Hamid Mehmood, owner of Khalid Trading Company. The judge also imposed $2.4 million fine on the accused. A police team nabbed the accused and shifted them to jail.

The NAB special public prosecutor while taking to media persons said that the accused were arrested by NAB in connection with embezzling huge funds allocated for import of 40,000 metric tons coal for Nizampur Cement Project from Indonesia. A reference was moved with accountability court in 2006, he said. Sharing details, he said that the three accused allegedly broke a deal of importing coal worth 2.4 million dollars from Indonesia while Muhammad Shaffique signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU). He added that the task of providing the coal to cement plant was assigned to owner of Unique Agencies Karachi Malik Jamil. However, he said, the accused included illegally a third person namely Brig (Retd) Hamid Mehmood of Khalid Trading Company, who withdrew the amount through bogus documents for the purpose. It was also decided among the three accused that Brig (Retd) Hamid Mehmood would deal with the two other accused for which Malik Jamil was paid extra amount to bring coal to Nizampur Cement Plant. He said that later the accused did not import any coal from Indonesia and the NAB arrested them and filed a reference with accountability court.

The special public prosecutor also revealed that earlier Brig (Retd) Hamid had tried to fix the matter with NAB through plea bargaining but later he preferred to face the trial.