NAB was not able to convince a Karachi accountability court that it should get businessman Iqbal Z Ahmed’s physical remand on Thursday.
The Lahore-based businessman and head of the Associated Group was arrested on Wednesday from his office on Mall Road and brought to Karachi. But the Karachi court wasn’t sure this was the right place to bring him.
An accountability court in Lahore approved his transit remand to Karachi and when he was presented in the Karachi court, NAB said he was involved in a money laundering case.
“Why present him here then? The fake accounts case is being heard in Islamabad,” said the judge. However, the NAB prosecutor said this was a “different case”.
The lawyer, Azhar Siddique, argued that under NAB law, the arresting team is required to issue notices ahead of the arrest and show the FIR at the time of the arrest. He told SAMAA Digital that this was not done in Ahmed’s case. When asked if any call-up notices had been issued to Ahmed in the case, NAB replied that they had not. However, when there is enough evidence, the NAB chairperson can give permission to arrest the suspect right away, the prosecutor argued.
He is being presented in the money laundering case, said the lawyer, not a corruption case. He said that his client was from Lahore and the alleged crime had supposedly been committed in Lahore as well. So why was he brought to Karachi, he asked.
The NAB prosecutor said the bureau chairperson had assigned the case to the Karachi branch. But Ahmed’s lawyer argued that this made no sense as it was a “simple money laundering case”.
The court granted two-day transit remand and asked NAB to take Ahmed to the court which has jurisdiction in the case.