name='verify-v1'/>"> MediaTrial: NAB summons Babar Awan, others in HSM probe case

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Saturday, December 12, 2009

NAB summons Babar Awan, others in HSM probe case

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The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan and top legal gurus of the country, accused of getting bribes from the owners of the Haris Steel Mills, Lahore, for getting a favourable verdict from the court in the Rs 9 billion loan scam in the Bank of Punjab.

A NAB official told The News on Friday on condition of anonymity that the NAB authorities had informed the Supreme Court about summoning of the senior lawyers for investigation into the Haris Steel Mills probe case. He said that they have summoned Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan, Sharifuddin Pirzada, former Attorney General Malik Qayyum and Ali Sajjad, son of Senator Wasim Sajjad, and they would possibly be interrogated today (Saturday).

On November 24, Sheikh Afzal, owner of Haris Steel Industries and the main accused in financial scam of Rs9 billion at the Bank of Punjab (BoP) had revealed before the bench of the Supreme Court to have given Rs35 million to Dr Babar Awan, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, for winning the case in the apex court. Sheikh Afzal, who was absconder in the BoP scam, was recently arrested by the FIA from Malaysia, along with his son Haris Afzal, and was produced before a three member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

The BoP had granted a loan of Rs9 billion to the Haris Steel Industries (HSI), Lahore, without fulfilling legal requirements and consequently the Industries defaulted the loan. The Bank of Punjab then filed a petition against HSI.

Sheikh Afzal had submitted to have given Rs5 million as fees to senior advocate of the Supreme Court and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan, besides giving him Rs35 million for assuring of winning the case.

Sheikh Afzal disclosed a list to the newsmen of top lawyers who extorted millions of rupees from him to clear his loan default cases from the courts. He alleged that Sharifuddin Pirzada took Rs10 million, Malik Qayyum Rs20 million and Ali Waseem Rs7.5 million.

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