ISLAMABAD - An accountability court in Islamabad on Monday indicted former Prime Minister and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former minister Miftah Ismail and others in LNG reference.

Accountability Judge Muhammad Azam Khan ordered provision of a copy of the charge-sheet to all accused, who denied charges and opted to contest them.

In response, the court has sought evidence from the prosecution on November 19 of this month. The court directed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to produce its three witnesses Abdul Rasheed Jokhio, Muhammad Hassan Bhatti and Allah Nawaz with original documents.   

Earlier, when the hearing began on Monday, the court was informed that some of the accused could not reach the court because of the blockage of roads due to an ongoing sit-in at Faizabad Interchange.

The court was requested to adjourn the proceedings till next date of hearing however the Accountability judge Muhammad Azam Khan adjourned the proceedings for few hours.

Later when hearing resumed, the former primer Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Agah Jan appeared before the court. Meanwhile, former minister Miftah Ismail, former MD PSO Shaikh Imran ul Haq, Hussain Daud, Abdul Samad Daud joined the proceedings via video link from Karachi.   

The LNG terminal reference was filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Ex-PM Abbasi, Miftah Ismail, ex-PSO MD Imranul Haq and others are accused of awarding an LNG import contract allegedly at exorbitant rates in 2015, which caused a big loss to the national exchequer.

According to the NAB, Abbasi had awarded an LNG import and distribution contract to the Elengy Terminal in violation of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules in 2013.

Speaking to the journalists outside the court, Khaqan Abbasi said that all the allegations against him are baseless. He once again demanded that the court proceedings should be telecasted on television channels.

"When our government will come, we will take action against the chairman NAB according to the law," he added.