Court admits plea for filing charges against former PM Shaukat Aziz

April 3rd, 2009 - 8:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, April 3 (IANS) A court here has admitted a plea for filing charges against former Pakistani prime minister Shaukat Aziz for allegedly conniving to send a woman to jail after she accused him of corruption while he was the country’s finance minister.
A single bench of judge Muhammad Munir Peracha passed the order after issuing notice on a plea filed by Zahida Malik, the former secretary general of an educational trust, who alleged that Aziz had demanded kickbacks of 30 percent on $130 million of a total proposed investment of $260 million by a Hong Kong-based company in 2002.

Malik’s plea will be heard April 21, the official APP news agency reported.

Malik urged the court to order the registration of a first information report (FIR) against Aziz for falsely ordering a case to be filed against her for complaining against him and because of which she had to spend two years in jail.

Malik’s counsel informed the bench that an investment company, Panjtan Pak Ltd., had in 2002 inked a pact with Parco Holding Ltd, a Hong Kong-based company for the investment of $260 million in Pakistan.

After the requirement of a bank guarantee was waived, Malik, as an official of the 56-Islamic Countries Education Trust, and Panjtan Pak Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding as $130 million out of the total investment was to be spent on welfare works, counsel said.

However, when Aziz, who was then the finance minister, learnt about this he, through his secretary, demanded a 30 percent kickback, counsel alleged.

He claimed when Malik did not agree, Aziz had a false case registered against her in 2003.

Aziz accused Malik of dispatching a letter to the State Bank of Pakistan and the National Bank of Pakistan with his forged signatures.

The police then arrested her but she was acquitted of all charges by a sessions court after spending two years in jail, counsel pointed out.

Malik had thus suffered severe mental stress and defamation because of the false case, he added.

He said Malik tried to lodge an FIR against Aziz but Islamabad’s additional sessions judge rejected this March 3.

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