Miftah Ismail gets bail in LNG scandal

ISLAMABAD, Dec 23 (APP): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday approved the post-arrest bail of former finance minister and PML-N leader Miftah Ismail in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) case.

A two-member bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the case.

Miftah Ismail was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in August in the LNG import scandal as he along with former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and ex-managing director PSO Sheikh Imran-ul-Haq are also facing investigations in the case.

At the outset of the hearing, Ismail’s counsel pleaded that his client was allegedly recruited consultant illegally and disclosed that hiring of the consultant was made by a foreign aid-agency and that he was not even on Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) board at that time.

To which Athar Minallah asked how much remand had been given to Ismail which the NAB prosecutor told the court, that Ismail had been granted 49 days remand till now.

The bench inquired about the status of inquiry which the NAB official informed the court that the “investigation was ongoing and an interim reference has also been filed in the case”.

The NAB prosecutor informed the court that Secretary Petroleum had become the approver in LNG case.

The prosecutor opposed the bail saying the accused may flee the country added that witnesses were facing threats.

The court asked which witness was receiving threats to which the prosecutor informed that chairman SSGC Zuhair Siddiqui was being threatened.

Justice Mian Gul Hassan remarked that Zuhair Siddiqui himself was accused before the NAB to which the prosecutor replied that he had became the approver in the case.

After listening to the parties, the court granted bail to Miftah Ismail against the surety bonds of Rs 10 million.

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