LHC orders NAB to release PTI’s Parvez Elahi

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to release Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) President Parvez Elahi.

The Punjab’s former chief minister had filed a petition against the NAB move to arrest him in a corruption case.

LHC Justice Amjad Rafiq announced the verdict after Elahi was presented before the court.

During the hearing today, Justice Rafiq warned NAB that the court would issue a warrant against the accountability body’s director-general if Elahi is not produced today.

Justice Rafiq said that a complete inquiry into his arrest will be conducted. “I am ordering to release Parvez Elahi on an immediate basis,” remarked the judge.

Speaking to media persons after the hearing, Elahi said: “I thank God for the judge’s order for my release and I thank everyone who prayed for me.”

On August 29, the PTI leader moved the court to challenge his detention claiming that his arrest was in violation of the LHC’s orders restricting the authorities from arresting Elahi in any undisclosed FIR or pending inquiry.

NAB had accused Elahi of receiving over Rs1 billion as kickbacks through intermediaries in more than 200 development projects of Gujrat district, during his second term as chief minister of Punjab.

Elahi was initially arrested on June 1 from outside his residence in a Rs70 million graft case related to the embezzlement of development funds allocated for the Gujrat district.

Since then, the former Punjab chief minister has been behind bars on various charges. During a span of around two and half months, the PTI leader was released multiple times on the courts’ orders but was re-arrested immediately every time.

The PTI president was taken into custody during a crackdown launched against the party’s leadership following the May 9 riots.

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