KARACHI - An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) yesterday sent Pakistan People’s Party leader and close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, Dr Asim Hussain to jail.
Doctor Asim was produced in the ATC court number 2 in high security. ATC judge Khalida Yaseen sent Asim Hussain to jail. Dr Asim’s wife was not allowed to enter the court premises. The accused will be presented before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on December 23 (today). However, the court stated that Dr Asim would remain in NAB’s custody in money-laundering case until his physical remand expires. Dr Asim pleaded the court not to hand him over to NAB, however, the court stated whatever happened to him was in the past. He could be sent to jail instead, he added. Adjourning the hearing till December 30, the court also ordered that copies of all prosecution documents, including statements of witnesses, be handed over to Dr Asim in compliance with Section 265-C of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Dr Asim, who was arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Dec 11, is on physical remand with the anti-graft body till Dec 23 (today).
NAB has reportedly launched investigations into references against Dr Asim for illegal affiliation of colleges with the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, issuance of licences for dozens of CNG stations and other corrupt practices.
Dr Asim was re-arrested by police on Monday in a case relating to terrorists’ treatment and harbouring after the ATC judge threw out a report for his release and sent the case for trial.
The judge disagreed with the report submitted by DSP Altaf Hussain, the second investigation officer (IO) in the case, and observed that he was not “legally justified to release accused Dr Asim Hussain.”
The judge observed that “prima facie, there is sufficient incriminating evidence/material against Dr Asim and other accused to connect” them to the case.
In his report, the IO claimed that no evidence had been found against Dr Asim during investigation.
The arrest of Dr Asim, chairman of the Sindh Higher Education Commission, came on Aug 26 and was described as the first major action against PPP leaders during the ongoing Karachi operation.
Following the end of his 90-day preventive detention with Rangers, police sought multiple extensions in his remand for further questioning and collection of evidence in a case relating to treatment of, and sheltering the terrorists.
After police released him on Dec 11, he was arrested by NAB from the court's premises and an accountability court later remanded him to the anti-graft body's custody until he was arrested by the police again on Monday.