Court defers indictment of Sindh CM, others in NAB reference

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Wednesday postponed the indictment of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and other suspects in the Nooriabad Power Plant reference until September 6.

The project was launched in 2014 under a public-private partnership at a cost of Rs13 billion in which the Sindh government holds 49 percent shares and a private company owns the remaining 51 percent.

Shah, who was an adviser to then-chief minister Qaim Ali Shah on finance and energy, has been accused of misuse of authority and award of contracts without feasibility of the projects causing Rs8 billion loss to the national exchequer.

The indictment was delayed after two co-accused tested positive for Covid-19 and failed to turn up for the hearing.

In the reference — filed by the dirty money watchdog — which is an offshoot of the fake accounts case, the chief minister is accused of using his influence and releasing funds for the project in violation of the rules.

The bureau has charged Shah under sections 9(a) 1, 4, 6, 11 and 12 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999.

According to the reference, the project was conceived to whiten the black money of the Omni Group. It is also alleged that Shah concealed the material facts from the Sindh cabinet, and even misled it to benefit the business.

Shah also managed to release a Rs3 billion loan to the companies, the case alleged.

NAB has submitted a 66-volume record against Shah in the accountability court. The statements and evidence of witnesses against Shah are part of the record.

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