Five-day physical remand of Hamid Kazmi granted
* FIA says former federal minister instructed former DG Hajj, Rao Shakeel, to hire buildings for pilgrims at higher costs
ISLAMABAD: Sessions Judge Muhammad Aslam Gondal, on Wednesday granted the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) a five-day physical remand of former federal minister for religious affairs, Hamid Saeed Kazmi, in the infamous Hajj corruption scandal.
The FIA arrested Kazmi on Tuesday in court when Special Judge (Central) (SJC) Sohail Nasir rejected his bail. Upon the rejection of his bail, a dejected looking Kazmi was immediately arrested by the FIA officers from the courtroom.
According to sources, FIR vide No 05/10 dated 12-11-10 was registered against Hamid Kazmi, a resident of Minister’s Enclave, House No 5, under sections 409/420/467/468/471/109,3, 4 PPC r/w 5 (2) 1947 PCA.
According to the FIA Investigation, Hamid Saeed Kazmi is the main accused of the Hajj scandal and instructed former director general Hajj, Rao Shakeel Ahmed, to hire costly buildings for pilgrims.
The FIA presented evidence that it said linked the former minister to Ahmed Faiz, another main accused in the Hajj scandal. The investigators alleged that Faiz was working on Kazmi’s directions but Kazmi had denied that he had any contact with him, the middleman for hiring accommodation in Saudi Arabia. However, investigators presented phone records that showed calls made to Faiz from Kazmi’s mobile.
Earlier on Tuesday, Judge Sohail Naseer of Special Court (Central) in Rawalpindi rejected Kazmi’s fresh petition for pre-arrest bail and ordered his arrest. Kazmi was taken into custody from the courtroom by the FIA after the Special Court (Central) in Rawalpindi ruled that he was directly involved in corruption.
On Wednesday, the FIA officials requested the court for a 14-day physical remand of Kazmi, but the court granted a five-day physical remand instead and ordered FIA to present him before the court on March 21.
Aslam Gondal was also informed that the court had gone through all the records and heard the submissions made by the investigation officer. “I have also heard the statements of the accused in person. The pre-arrest bail of Kazmi has been cancelled by the Rawalpindi (Central) special judge, vide order dated 15-03-2011.
Source: Daily Times