KARACHI - An accountability court on Saturday adjourned hearing of a corruption reference against Sharjeel Memon and others until May 26.  The defence counsel will cross examine the prosecution witnesses at the next hearing.

Memon's lawyer concluded his cross-questioning of a prosecution witness on Saturday. The former minister, along with 11 others, is facing trial in a corruption case pertaining to award of advertisements at 'exorbitant rates' through abuse of powers.

NAB had filed a reference in 2016 against the former minister, the then provincial information secretary, deputy directors of the Sindh Information Department Mansoor Ahmed Rajput, Mohammed Yousuf Kaboro, and others for allegedly committing corruption from 2013 to 2015 in award of advertisements of provincial government’s awareness campaigns through electronic media, thereby causing a loss of around Rs3.27 billion to the national exchequer.

Zeenat Jahan, who was posted as director in the provincial information department in 2014, had lodged a complaint with NAB after she had observed massive financial corruption and misuse of powers in the department. Currently, she is serving as information director in the provincial information department in Karachi and is a prime witness in the case.

Memon's lawyer Amir Raza Naqvi asked her if it was true that in the past she had held more than one positions at a time. She responded in the affirmative. Naqvi then asked her how she was promoted from grade 16 to grade 17. She clarified that she had not been promoted instead she had been upgraded in the early 1990s.

She also told the court that she had been attacked in 2017 and had lodged a complaint as well. Naqvi asked her if she had nominated those who were responsible. "Those who are responsible can only be identified once an investigation takes place," Jahan responded.

After the court proceedings, Sharjeel again criticised the NAB law by saying that the country had separate laws -- one for rest of the country and one for Sindh. He made the remarks in an informal conversation with the media outside an accountability court where he had been presented for a corruption trial. Earlier, the court indicted Sharjeel Memon and other suspects in a corruption case pertaining to award of advertisements at 'exorbitant rates' through abuse of power.