KARACHI: An accountability court on Thursday granted the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) a seven-day extension in the remand of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) leader and close Zardari aide Dr Asim Hussain. NAB’s previous seven-day remand of Dr Hussain was set to expire today.
NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Amjad Ali Shah along with Investigation Officer Zameer Abbassi had earlier sought an extension in Dr Hussain’s remand, saying a major development had been made in the case.
They presented documents before the court, including a memo of seizure and investigation diaries.
NAB arrested the former federal minister from the premises of Sindh High Court on Dec 11 after the administrative judge of anti-terrorism courts allowed the bureau to take him into custody when police informed him that the suspect had been released under Section 497(2) of CrPC in a case relating to providing treatment and shelter to terrorists at his hospital.
Before that, Dr Hussain was placed in police custody after his 90-day preventive detention in Rangers’ custody ended.
Prior to his hearing today, Dr Asim Hussain, while speaking to the media, alleged he had developed serious injuries on his legs due to which he kept falling when he tried to walk. The matter was, however, not brought up before the court.
Dr Hussain’s counsel Amir Raza Naqvi opposed an extension in NAB custody, contending that the defendant was not “mentally alert” due to prolonged detention. He also said Dr Hussain’s consciousness was affected by “heavy medication”.
The counsel requested that Dr Hussain be admitted to Agha Khan University Hospital for treatment at his own cost.
The NAB IO contended that while Dr Hussain had been provided treatment in custody, they had no issue with the PPP leader receiving treatment at a private hospital.
While Rangers and police were on a collision course after the latter released the former federal minister in a case registered under the anti-terrorism law for what police described as ‘lack of sufficient evidence,’ an accountability court handed him over to NAB for a week for corruption investigations.
Dr Asim Hussain, the chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission, was arrested by Rangers on Aug 26 from his office.
Following the end of his 90-day preventive detention on Nov 25, the Rangers handed him over to police after lodging a case against him for allegedly treating and harbouring terrorists at the North Nazimabad and Clifton branches of Dr Ziauddin Hospital at the behest of PPP and MQM leaders.
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