Sharjeel Memon challenges arrest in accountability court

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KARACHI Nov 06 (TNS): Provincial lawmaker and former Sindh information minister Sharjeel Memon challenged his arrest in an accountability court on Monday.

Memon said that his arrest warrants weren’t issued on October 23, the day he was taken into custody, hence his detention should be declared illegal.

During the hearing, counsel said that his client’s arrest was not ordered by the honourable court and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has misdirected the judiciary on Memon’s arrest.

He added that in the document provided to the court, NAB falsely stated in the court that Memon was arrested in the Rs5.67 billion case near the Passport Office whereas quite contrary to it, his client was taken into custody from the court’s premises.

Memon’s counsel requested the court to immediately give its decision on his client’s petition against his arrest.

The Pakistan Peoples’ Party leader was arrested by the NAB on October 23, after hours of being holed up in court premises. He was taken into custody as he left the court following his bail cancellation.

The former minister was escorted from the court premises by Rangers and NAB personnel and was surrounded by his lawyers and other supporters. As he was leaving the court, resistance was offered by his supporters leading to an exchange of hot words with NAB officials.

Eleven other accused in the case were also arrested by the bureau.

Memon was shifted to NAB headquarters Sindh after being escorted from the court.

“The accused persons are charged for embezzlement of Rs. 5,766,479,766 purportedly paid to seven advertising agencies for awareness campaigns between 2013 and 2015,” said a press release by NAB.

“The accused persons jointly and severally in connivance with each other have been alleged for awarding the contracts to favor certain advertising agencies and to their own favor, in violation of relevant laws and rules and against exorbitant rates,” added the release.