Transactions from Musharraf’s frozen accounts

Court dismay over FIA’s failure to give explanation

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Staff Report

Islamabad

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Monday once again sought an explanation from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on transactions in frozen bank accounts of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf.

During the hearing of the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto murder case the directives were issued by the ATC.

The FIA’s prosecutor and investigation officer did not attend the hearing and the court expressed its displeasure over the agency’s failure to present details of Musharraf’s assets and transactions from his frozen bank accounts.

Adjourning the hearing till July 27, Judge Asghar Khan ordered the FIA to present an explanation on how transactions were taking place from a frozen account.

The ATC has been seeking details of the transactions for months now.

On February 15 this year, the FIA had submitted details of Musharraf’s properties in Pakistan. The agency told the court that its report contained complete details of Musharraf’s assets except for some of his bank accounts.

The court had reprimanded the FIA for withdrawal of money from Musharraf’s frozen bank accounts and directed it to present a report.

At the time, the court was told that no huge amounts were debited and only bank charges were deducted. However, despite the passage of over three months, the FIA is yet to submit a comprehensive report on the illegal financial activity.

In August 2017, the ATC convicted former additional inspector general Saud Aziz and senior superintendent of police Khurram Shehzad in the Benazir Bhutto murder case and awarded both of them 17 years’ imprisonment.

It acquitted five suspects belonging to the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan — Rafaqat Hussain, Hasnain Gul, Aitzaz Shah, Sher Zaman and Rashid Ahmed.

The court had also issued perpetual warrants for Musharraf’s arrest.

The Lahore High Court had suspended the sentence, while the district administration detained the suspects under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) law.

Musharraf is also absconding in the high treason case and the murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi and his properties have been confiscated in these cases as well.