An accountability court in Lahore on Saturday accepted the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea and extended the physical remand of PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Salman Rafique till Feb 2, in the Paragon Housing scam case.
At the outset of the hearing today, NAB prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua argued that the investigation into the case had stalled as Saad Rafique spent the prior week in Islamabad to attend a session of the National Assembly.
“The investigation officer has not been able to investigate anything in these seven days,” the prosecutor told the court.
Mohammad Amjad Pervaiz, the Rafique brothers’ counsel, noted that it was the fifth time that NAB has sought an extension of his clients’ remand, claiming that the corruption watchdog’s excuse had been the same the last four times.
“This reasoning given today is the same that was used on December 22, 2018,” he said. “On Jan 5 too an extension was secured on the basis of bank transactions.”
The siblings’ counsel said that his clients were asked to furnish details of their bank accounts on August 3, which he said were provided to NAB 10 days later.
He reiterated that the Rafique brothers have nothing to do with the ownership of Paragon Housing and rubbished NAB’s accusation that they had received funds in this regard.
Pervaiz opposed the extension of his clients’ physical remand, instead suggesting that they be remanded in judicial custody.
The judge, however, accepted NAB’s petition and extended the siblings’ physical remand by another week, with instructions to present them in court on Feb 2.
Saad and Salman Rafique were taken into custody by NAB on Dec 11 after their request for bail was turned down by the Lahore High Court. Since then, their remand has been extended multiple times.