SC seeks report on cost of bringing back ex-Ogra chief

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a report on the details of expenditure incurred to bring back former oil and gas chief Tauqir Sadiq. The apex court also ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to clarify who will be charged for these expenses. UAE authorities had handed over Sadiq to a team of officials of the NAB on Monday night. The former Ogra chairman, who is accused of being involved in a multi-billion rupee scam, had fled abroad soon after the Supreme Court declared his appointment illegal on Nov 25, 2012.

A two member bench of the court, headed by Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, was hearing the case pertaining to the Ogra scam on Wednesday.

The bench directed NAB to include in its report the details of the expenses incurred by the foreign lawyers as well as NAB officers’ travel and accommodation to bring Sadiq back.

During proceedings, the bureau presented its initial report on bringing back Sadiq to the country. An accountability court in Islamabad had sent the fugitive former Ogra chief on a 14-day physical remand.

Justice Khawaja questioned the NAB on what action it had taken on reports of various influential personalities aiding Sadiq’s escape from Pakistan.

Prosecutor General KK Agha replied that a senior investigating officer had been assigned and the report would soon be presented in court.

However, Agha pointed out that the approval of a NAB chairman, a position that has been vacant since May 28 when the SC declared the appointment of former chief Fasih Bokhari void, was vital for the bureau to proceed further.

The bench ordered NAB to submit a detailed report in the next hearing on what actions it had so far taken to implement the court’s verdict in the Ogra case.

Proceedings were subsequently adjourned until July 24.