Ashraf’s acquittal plea in third RPP reference rejected

July 8, 2020

ISLAMABAD : An accountability court Wednesday rejected the acquittal plea filed by former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in the Naudero-II Rental Power reference filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The bureau had filed the reference against the PPP leader for alleged abuse power when he was serving as the minister for water and power during the Yusuf Raza Gilani government. Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir issued the verdict on the petition and ordered that trial against the accused would continue. Ashraf and the others had filed an acquittal plea under the amended NAB Ordinance in 2019. The reference was filed against the accused in 2013 and NAB had opposed the acquittal plea. The NAB has alleged that the accused incurred a loss of Rs75 million to the national exchequer. The anti-corruption watchdog has alleged that the accused tried to transfer the machinery of the Guddu Power Plant to the Naudero-II power plant. It added that NEPRA later did not approve the transfer of the machinery. “The accused had earlier issued a processing fee of Rs75 million for the transfer of the machinery,” said NAB. It added that the accused inflicted a loss to the national exchequer by paying fees for illegal work. Last month, an accountability court had acquitted Ashraf, former finance minister Shaukat Tareen and six others accused in the Pira Ghaib Rental Power corruption reference. The former prime minister was also acquitted in the Rental Power Plant reference regarding the Sahiwal-Multan project in June as well, as NAB failed to prove corruption charges against him. Both the verdicts were issued by Judge Muhammad Bashir who heard the acquittal plea on Wednesday filed by the accused in the case.

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