ISLAMABAD - The regional board of the NAB Rawalpindi has recommended the headquarters to file a corruption reference against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Miftah Ismail and others linked to illegal award of LNG tender and EPTL scam, The Nation learnt on Monday.

An accountability court had sent Abbasi, Miftah and former managing director of the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) to jail in this multi-billion rupees scam. Two of the accused, Managing Director of the Inter State Gas System Mobin Soulat and former secretary for petroleum Abid Saeed, have become approvers against the former premier and recorded their statements to an investigation team. Mobin was considered a close aide of former PM Abbasi and he enjoyed his third term as ISGS MD due to Abbasi’s efforts.

According to the sources, the regional board had accepted all recommendations of the investigation team regarding the LNG scam and sent the case to NAB headquarters to take decision on it at the Executive Board meeting. After getting approval from the board, NAB Rawalpindi would file a corruption reference against the accused in the Islamabad Accountability Court.

On Monday, a NAB team produced Abbasi in court and his counsel submitted a plea to broadcast the LNG scam trial live on TV channels. The medical board had also recommended shifting Abbasi to hospital due to health issues.

In a related development, an accountability court on Monday extended the judicial remand of three accused, including Abbasi and ex-finance minister Miftah Ismail, till November 19 in the LNG import case.

The court also allowed the three accused to meet inside the courtroom for legal consultation.  Abbasi, Ismail and Sheykh were produced before AC-I Judge Muhammad Bashir on completion of their judicial remand.

At the outset of the hearing, the former prime minister moved two applications seeking his medical treatment at a hospital of his choice and online broadcast of the proceedings against him.

Abbasi presented his medical report to the judge in which the medical board had advised shifting him to hospital. He said he wanted to undergo surgery. If the surgery is delayed, he said, his health condition could deteriorate.

He said that NAB had been doing investigation for one-and-a-half years, but it could not prepare a reference against him.  The court proceedings should be telecast live on media so that people know everything related to the case, he said.

Miftah Ismail said that people who had been serving the nation were behind the bars without any charge. His lawyer said no one could be kept in jail without any reason.

Accused Sheykh Imranul Haq said they were not allowed to meet each other in jail despite court orders. He prayed to the court to serve a show-cause notice on the jail superintendent. The court, however, allowed the three accused to meet inside the courtroom.

It may be mentioned here that medical report of Abbasi stated that he was suffering from hernia and bladder problems. He was required to undergo surgery and advised to shift to hospital.