Paragon case: NAB seeks time

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Staff Reporter

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has sought time from the accountability court to record the statement of another witness in the Paragon Housing scandal case against the Khawaja brothers.

The accountability court’s judge Jawadul Hassan conducted the hearing of the Paragon Housing scandal case against Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Salman Rafique.

During the hearing, the statement of a witness Muhammad Bukhsh, a retired officer of the local government of Sargodha, recorded his testimony.

The defence counsel Amjad Pervaiz argued that the prosecution could not cross-examine the witness.

To this, the NAB prosecutor said that he is ready for arguments on the matter.
The prosecutor sought time to record the testimony of another witness in the case which was accepted by the court.

Later, the accountability court asked the lawyers to give arguments on it and also summoned the witness to the next hearing. The hearing was adjourned till March 18.

Paragon Housing scam
According to NAB, Saad Rafique in collusion with his wife Ghazala Saad Rafique Butt, brother Salman Rafique, Qaiser Amin Butt and Nadeem Zia had launched a housing project named Air Avenue, which was later renamed to Paragon City (Pvt) Ltd).

Saad Rafique, his brother Salman Rafique, Nadeem Zia, Umar Zia, and Farhan Ali were named accused in accountability reference comprising of 17 volumes.

According to the reference, the Khawaja Saad Rafique, Khawaja Salman Rafique and Nadeem Zia owned 93.2 per cent shares in the Paragon Housing Society.

Besides, Saad Rafique acquired 40 kanals of land in his and his brother’s name, which he used to extend the project illegally and sold commercial plots worth billions of rupees.

It states that the former railway minister received monetary benefits to the tune of Rs58 million from the society whereas his brother Rs39 million.