Pakistan’s former PM Ashraf, 6 others indicted in power project corruption case
Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf and six others were indicted by an anti-corruption court on Monday over alleged corruption in granting approval to a power generation project that caused losses worth billions of rupees to the national exchequer.
Accountability court judge Mohammad Arshad Malik indicted Pakistan Peoples Party leader Ashraf and six others including Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Babar Awan in the Nandipur power project corruption case.
The court framed the charges, which include causing delay in according approval to project, which caused losses worth billions of rupees to the national exchequer.
All the accused in the case have pleaded ‘not guilty’.
The court also summoned the first witness on March 19 when the formal trial of the accused will start, as Judge Malik announced to conclude the trial at the earliest.
The case was filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 5 last year and is based on delay in the execution of the project and hurdles created by the Ashraf while serving as minister of water and power and Awan who was then minster of law.
The project was approved on December 27, 2007 at a cost of USD 329 million. Its contract was signed on January 28, 2008 to Dong Fang Electric Corporation, China and two consortiums including Coface and Sinosure.
The auditor general of Pakistan (AGP) later on found irregularities of over Rs 8000 crores in the project, including over Rs 1700 crores losses due to the delay. Ashraf was Prime Minister of Pakistan from June 22, 2012 until March 16, 2013. Earlier, he served as minister of water and power in the Yousaf Raza Gillani-led government from March 2008 to February 2011.