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Pakistan media mogul remanded in judicial custody in 34-year-old land scam case

The charges against Rehman relating to the purchase of several plots of land in Lahore go back to 1986 when Sharif was the chief minister of Punjab province.

Published: 29th April 2020 03:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th April 2020 03:42 PM   |  A+A-

corruption, bribe

For representational purposes

By PTI

LAHORE: Pakistani media mogul Mir Shakilur Rehman, arrested on charges of illegally obtaining government land here over three decades ago when Nawaz Sharif was the chief minister of Punjab province, has been sent to jail on judicial remand after the country's anti-graft body did not seek his further custody.

Mir Shakilur Rahman, the editor-in-chief of the Jang group which owns some of Pakistan's widely circulated newspapers and the Geo television network, was arrested on March 12 by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and was in its custody till April 28.

An accountability court on Tuesday sent Rehman to jail on judicial remand till May 12 after the prosecutor said the NAB did not need him anymore for investigation, the Dawn News reported.

The charges against Rehman relating to the purchase of several plots of land in Lahore go back to 1986 when Sharif was the chief minister of Punjab province.

The NAB alleged that Sharif allowed Rahman illegally acquire more government-owned-land than he was allowed by law.

On April 27, the anti-graft body had issued an arrest warrant against the embattled former prime minister Sharif in the land corruption case.

ALSO READ: Arrest warrant issued against Nawaz Sharif in land-related corruption case

The 70-year-old supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, is currently in London for medical treatment.

According to NAB officials, Sharif illegally leased the land to Rehman.

At the outset of Rehman's remand hearing on Tuesday, NAB Special Prosecutor Asim Mumtaz told the court that he could not be brought for the hearing as he was admitted to a private hospital owing to bad health.

He also submitted a medical certificate of the hospital to the court.

The prosecutor asked the court to send the suspect on judicial remand as the bureau did not need him anymore for investigation.

However, Presiding Judge Jawadul Hassan expressed displeasure over the bureau for not presenting the suspect before the court and also refused to entertain the medical certificate of a private hospital, the daily reported.

Later, the NAB brought Rehman to the court in an ambulance from the hospital.

The prosecutor requested the court to permit Rehman to stay at the hospital during the judicial remand.

The judge turned down the request and observed that the NAB itself had the power to keep an under-trial prisoner at hospital.

Judge Hassan entrusted the custody of Rehman to superintendent of district jail with direction to produce him on May 12. 

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