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Accountability court rejects Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s acquittal plea in third RPP reference

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Accused had filed an acquittal plea under the NAB Ordinance amended in 2019 in the case. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court rejected the acquittal plea filed by former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf in the Naudero II rental power reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday.

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.

Judge Muhammad Bashir issued the verdict on the petition and ordered the trial against the accused to 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 bureau 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.

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“The accused had earlier issued a processing fee of Rs 75 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.

The PPP leader was hoping to get an acquittal in the third reference that has been filed by NAB.

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 today's acquittal plea filed by the accused in the case.


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