Khawaja brothers case adjourned till 29th


LAHORE, Nov 21 (APP):An accountability court on Thursday adjourned hearing of Paragon City reference against former railways minister Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique till Nov 29.

Accountability Court Judge Syed Jawadul Hassan conducted the reference proceedings wherein the Khawaja brothers were produced on expiry of their judicial remand term.

At the outset of the proceedings, Khawaja Saad Rafique complained about the police behaviour and submitted that he was detained in the van for some time. He said that he was not being allowed to talk with his counsel, adding that he would move privilege motion on the issue.

The court observed that Saad Rafique could move the motion as it was his constitutional right while allowing him to consult his counsel in the courtroom. The court further observed that it had taken notice of the complaint and would decide the same after receiving reply from the persons concerned.

Later, the court allowed Khawaja Saad Rafique to leave for Islamabad to attend meeting of a standing committee on being informed about his production orders in this regard.

Subsequently, the court adjourned further hearing till Nov 29 after cross examination of two witnesses during the proceedings. The court summoned approver Qaisar Amin Butt for recording his statement on the next date of hearing besides

Judicial Magistrate Zulifqar Bari, who recorded statement of Qaisar Amin Butt, for cross examination.
Besides the Khawaja brothers, Nadeem Zia, Umar Zia, and Farhan Ali were also nominated in the reference.

The reference stated that the Khawaja brothers through their “benamidars” and with the abetment of former MPA Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia established a housing project in the name of Air Avenue.

The project was later converted into a new housing project namely Paragon City Pvt Ltd, which NAB said was an illegal society and not approved by the Lahore Development Authority.

The former railways minister and his brother accused of receiving monetary benefits of Rs 58 million and Rs 39 million, respectively, from the society through proxy firms under the grab of consultancy services, it said.

The Khawaja brothers were arrested on Dec 11, 2018 by the bureau. A Lahore High Court bench dismissed post-arrest bail petitions of the Khawaja brothers on June 18. However, they had not approached the apex court in the matter yet.

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