Shahid Khaqan, others ask court to quash LNG reference under new NAB law

PMLN leaders face probe for awarding 15-year LNG import contract to Qatar
Sep 07, 2022
<p>A ship carrying LNG across the sea. Photo SAMAA/file</p>

A ship carrying LNG across the sea. Photo SAMAA/file

Former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and other accused requested on Wednesday the accountability court (AC) in Islamabad to dismiss the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) reference against them in the light of the new National Accountability Bureau (NAB) law.

Abbasi and others are accused of awarding an LNG import contract to Qatar at a heightened rate to reap personal financial benefits.

The former prime minister faced a NAB inquiry, back in the days when he was heading the petroleum ministry, for awarding a 15-year contract for a LNG terminal against the rules.

The inquiry was suspended in 2016 and then reopened in 2018 when the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government came to power.

Once again, the former premier and co-accused in the case have requested the accountability court in person to dismiss the reference filed against them.

Now that the NAB law has been amended by the PMLN-led government disabling the anti-graft from conducting inquiries against cabinet members who did not receive illegal financial benefits against a decision, the PML-N leader has requested the accountability court to dismiss the aforementioned reference.

The legal counsel of one of the accused told the court that since they are not guilty of reaping financial benefits, the reference should be dismissed in accordance with the new law.

On the other hand, the lawyer representing the antigraft body contested that the nominated persons did receive financial benefits through the said deal which was not even referred to the cabinet for approval at the time.

He said the reference includes provisions of money laundering and thereby is subject to a NAB probe.

The accountability court issued a notice to the bureau on the reference case termination request by the suspects and adjourned the hearing till October 4.



shahid khaqan abbasi

LNG terminal case

Tabool ads will show in this div