ISLAMABAD -  A local court Friday sentenced Ahmad Faiz, frontman of former Haj Director General Rao Shakil and former religious minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi, to 30 years in prison.

Special judge central Malik Nazir Ahmad announced the verdict and also imposed fine of Rs40 million on Ahmad Faiz.

In his verdict, the special judge central said that the accused was guilty of embezzling money while making arrangements for Haj in 2010.

 The Haj corruption scandal was surfaced in 2010 when former minister for Science and Technology Azam Swati leveled corruption allegations against former minister for Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi.

Later, former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani sacked both Kazmi and Swati from their offices while the Supreme Court took a suo motu notice of the case.  During the hearing, the public prosecutor informed the court that accused grabbed billions of rupees through poor Haj arrangements and was at large since beginning of the trial. Culprit Ahmed was arrested through Interpol. The judge convicted Ahmad on the basis of enough evidences against him and ordered to expand imprisonment if culprit failed to deposit the fined amount.

In the same matter, the court had already sentenced former federal minister for religious affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi for 16 years while Director General (DG) Haj Rao Shakeel was given 40 years imprisonment and a sentence of 16 years in prison was awarded to joint secretary for religious affairs Aftab Aslam. The court also imposed fine to the tune of Rs147 million on all the three accused.

The accused were alleged for their involvement in the Haj corruption scandal and inflicting huge losses on the national exchequer during the tenure of Kazmi as federal religious minister.