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LHC bars NAB from arresting Khawaja brothers till 11th

LHC bars NAB from arresting Khawaja brothers till 11th

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has extended the bails granted to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Salman Rafique in the Paragon Housing scam and directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to not make any arrests.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Tariq Abbasi heard the petition filed by the Khawaja brothers for pre-arrest bail.

As the hearing went underway, the bench asked the brothers, “Did you submit a petition for the DG NAB to be changed?”

At this, the NAB prosecutor informed the court, “The NAB chairman has heard both the petitioners and a decision will be taken in this regard within the next one to two days.”

The bench asked the NAB prosecutor to make their arrest warrants a part of the record and further extended Saad and Salman’s bail till December 11. The court further ordered NAB to not arrest the two until the next hearing.

NAB officials say there are three inquiries ongoing against Saad Rafique pertaining to the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme, Paragon Housing scam and corruption in Pakistan Railways.

Earlier, the LHC extended the bail granted to the Khawaja brothers and had directed NAB to decide immediately on the basis of law whether a team probing them is to be changed.

The petition had stated, “We fully cooperated with NAB in the investigation and our pre-arrest bail should be approved.” The brothers also claimed that they were not involved in corruption.

The bench had asked the NAB lawyer whether documents pertaining to the arrest had been given to the brothers to which he replied, “The documents will be given when they are arrested.”

The bench then questioned whether the Khawaja brothers were present in court and was told that they are. The brothers then told the court, “We fear that NAB will arrest us.”

After hearing arguments of the respondents’ counsel, the bench extended the bail granted to the brothers till December 5.

The bench also directed the NAB chairman to make a decision immediately in keeping with the law on the brothers’ petition to change the team probing them.

NAB officials say there are three inquiries ongoing against Saad Rafique pertaining to the Ashiana Iqbal Housing Scheme, Paragon Housing scam and corruption in Pakistan Railways.