SC rejects Defence Ministry’s report, FIA’s plea to close Asghar Khan case | Pakistan Today

SC rejects Defence Ministry’s report, FIA’s plea to close Asghar Khan case

–Court gives Defence Ministry four weeks to submit fresh report on progress of implementation of case verdict

–FIA again pleads SC to close case, says it has failed to find enough evidence to take case forward

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday rejected a report submitted by the Defence Ministry in the Asghar Khan case and demanded that a new one be submitted within four weeks.

A three-member bench, headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, heard the case.

In its report, the Defence Ministry said that it had constituted a court of inquiry, which had recorded the statements of six witnesses. According to the report, the ministry is looking for more witnesses.

The report said that a Court of Inquiry had examined all proof and civilians associated with the case. It added that efforts were being made to bring the matter to its logical end as per the rules and regulations.

“During the inquiry, were [the witnesses] asked about the [person] through whom the money was offered?” Justice Saeed inquired, to which the attorney general responded in the negative. Justice Saeed told the Defence Ministry to submit a “complete report” again.

The judge also said that it will be examined if the witness statements, that were recorded under oath, are truthful. He said that the defence ministry can submit the report in a sealed envelope if it wants.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also submitted a report, saying that it could not find enough proof or evidence to take the case forward. The FIA authorities said they were unable to proceed due to lack of substantial evidence. The investigation body again recommended the closure of the Asghar Khan case for lack of evidence.

The FIA report said that the statements of all important witnesses who were available had been recorded. The FIA said it had also interviewed two journalists, Mujeebur Rehman Shami and Habib Ikram, and grilled the main witness, Brig (r) Hamid Saeed, as well as Advocate Yousaf Memon, but to no avail.

The apex court is hearing a case on the implementation of the verdict in the Asghar Khan case which concerns the dishing out of Rs140 million among politicians allegedly by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) before the 1990 general elections.

Through its 2012 judgement the SC had asked the federal government to take necessary action under the law against former army chief retired Gen Aslam Beg and ISI’s former director general retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani for their role in facilitating a group of politicians and political parties to ensure their success against rival candidates in the 1990 election by dishing out Rs140m.

In the last hearing of the case on April 2, the court had ordered the FIA to come up with a report highlighting banks showing reluctance to offer information about those who allegedly received money in the scam.

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