Accountability court issues arrest warrant for former Pakistan prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf

MAMOSA Report — An accountability court in Lahore on Saturday issued an arrest warrant for the former prime minister and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Raja Pervez Ashraf for a no-show in the hearing of a case regarding illegal appointments in Gujranwala Electric Power Supply Company (GEPCO).

Judge Najamul Hassan heard the case, during which Raja Pervez Ashraf’s lawyer submitted an exemption from court plea, stating that the former prime minister was out of country due to wife’s illness and thereforee could not appear in the court.

The judge dismissed the plea after going through the papers and ordered to present the accused in the next hearing at any cost. The court also issued arrest warrant for Raja Pervez Ashraf for April 19.

In March, the accountability court had directed the Punjab police chief to provide adequate security to the former prime minister to ensure his appearance in court.

The directive came after the ex-premier’s counsel had contended that security measures were not satisfactory in the previous proceedings.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed a reference against Ashraf, alleging him of getting hired over 400 employees illegally at the Gujranwala Electric Power Company (GEPCO) just to increase his vote bank. He was also accused of receiving kickbacks and commissions in rental power plant deals, when he was the federal water and power minister in 2008.

The ex-PM was to appear in court on March 11 but he did not turn up citing inadequate security measures.

The judge later directed Ashraf and other suspects to furnish bail bonds of Rs5,00,000 and fixed April 1 for hearing the plea for exemption.

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