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Jang`s editor-in-chief`s remand extended for 10 days

By Our Staff Reporter 2020-04-19
LAHORE: An accountability court on Saturday further extended physical remand of Jang group editor-in-chief Mir Shakilur Rehman for ten days in a 34-year-old case of 54-kanal land allegedly allotted to him by then Punjab chief minister Nawaz Sharif.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials presented Mr Rehman before the court seeking 15-day extension in his remand.

Special Prosecutor Asim Mumtaz told the court that the investigation process remained slowed due to coronavirus lockdown.

He said the suspect, during the remand, was confronted with then director general of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Humayon Faiz Rasool.

He said Mr Rasool confessed to have considered an application by the media mogul on the instructions of then chief minis-ter Nawaz Sharif.

To a court query, the prosecutor said the land award notification had no mention of but the suspect illegally included two roads in the allotted land, he added.

The prosecutor complained to the court that the news channel owned by the suspect had been running a misleading video and trying to influence the case proceedings.

Rehman`s counsel Amjad Pervez denied the allegation and said the channel had not aired any such video referred to by the prosecutor. However, he said inside videos of investigation room of the NAB had been leaked to a rival television channel of the suspect.

Presiding Judge Jawadul Hassan asked the prosecutor to file a separate application if he had any grievance against the reporting by the channel.

The defence counsel argued that the NAB was seeking fourth remand of the suspect on the same old grounds. He said thesuspect had made payment to the LDA against the additional land for the roads.

Referring to an argument against arrest ofthe suspectin a 34-year-old case, the prosecutor said it took time to trace and investigate the then government officials associated with the decades old case.

After hearing both sides, the judge reserved his verdict and announcing it after a while extended Mr Rehman`s physical remand for ten days. The judge directed the NAB to produce the suspect again on April 28.

The Lahore High Court recently dismissed two petitions against the arrest of the suspect and seekinghisrelease on bail.

The NAB alleged that Mr Rehman illegally obtained exemption of 54 plots, each measuring one-kanal, situated in Block-H, Johar Town. It said the land allotment had been in connivance with then chief minister Nawaz Sharif against the exemption policy and the laws for monitory gains.