Court hears KPT corruption reference against Javed Hanif, others

Karachi (HRNW): An accountability court on Thursday heard Karachi Port Trust (KPT) corruption reference against Sindh Assembly member Javed Hanif and other accused,  Former federal minister and a key accused Babar Ghauri has been declared proclaimed offender in the case. The court hearing a reference against the accused about illegal recruitment and misuse of authority, filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). MQM’s MPA Javed Hanif and other accused were present in the court hearing Rs. 2.75 billion corruption case. The NAB prosecution presented Deputy Secretary Ports and Shipping Saifullah as its witness in the court.

The counsel of the accused pleaded to the court for time to prepare for the case. The judge granted the plea and ordered the lawyers to appear in the next hearing with preparation. The court adjourned the corruption hearing till March 29. Accused MQM leaders Javed Hanif, Rauf Akhtar Farooqui and others have been arrested in the case. Former federal minister Babar Ghauri and eight other accused have been nominated in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) corruption reference. Babar Ghauri and others facing charges of massive corruption of around Rs 2.8 billion in Karachi Port Trust (KPT), when he was federal minister for Ports and Shipping between 2008 and 2013. The accused are facing charges of making 940 illegal appointments in the KPT in 2012.

On Sep 15 last year, the court while approving a reference filed by the NAB, had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Babar Ghauri and other accused. According to the reference filed by the anti-graft watchdog, Javed Hanif in his capacity as the then KPT chairman misused his official authority and made illegal appointments of 940 employees in the KPT with the connivance of Babar Ghauri. NAB claims that the appointments were made in violation of the KPT law, rules and regulations, which was resulted in loss to national exchequer to the tune of Rs 2.8 billion.

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