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Warning to FIA: CJ threatens to transfer NICL case to NAB

Posted by on Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 16:40
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The Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry said on Tuesday that the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) investigation could be transferred to the National Accountability Bureau if the Federal Investigation Agency failed to conduct a fair investigation.

The chief justice made these remarks during the hearing of the NICL scam case in the Supreme Court. A three-judge bench comprising chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez heard the case in court today.

Former additional director general of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Zafar Qureshi told the Supreme Court that Moonis Elahi was acquitted by a Lahore court before the investigation of the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL) case could be concluded.

Qureshi made these remarks in the apex court during the hearing of the multi-billion rupee scam involving Moonis Elahi, the main accused who was acquitted by a banking court earlier this week.

According to Qureshi, Moonis Elahiโ€™s assets worth Rs22.5 million were seized by his investigation team, and that Elahi was acquitted โ€œeven before a regular trialโ€.

Qureshi said he had unearthed financial irregularities in the scandal and had linked them to Moonis Elahi. He added that his investigation could not be completed because of the lax attitude of the director general of the FIA. Qureshi said his investigation could not be completed due to this non-cooperation and also said that he retired on September 30.

Qureshi said he was in the process of preparing a final challan against Elahi when he was acquitted.

He said the Lahore FIA chief Waqar Haider and assistant director Zulfiqar came up with fictitious letters which they sent to the bank. In accordance with these letters, the bank released the money that was retrieved during the probe back to Elahi.

Qureshi also told the court that he has written at least 10 letters to the FIA chief and interior secretary apprising them of the conduct of Waqar and ZUlfiqar, but no action was taken against them.

He also said that he had given proof of money laundering to the DG FIA but was told that the agency did not have the jurisdiction to bring the money back .

After hearing Qureshiโ€™s statements, the chief justice said that if the FIA does not deliver with regard to the investigation, the court can assign the probe to the National Accountability Bureau.

He also summoned Zulfiqar and Waqar on November 2 so they can explain why they failed to cooperate with Qureshi.

The court adjourned the hearing of the case till November 2.

Last week, a banking court acquitted the main accused in the case, Moonis Elahi.

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