NAB allowed to execute arrest warrant for Fawad Chaudhry

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ISLAMABAD: Judicial Magistrate Yasir Mehmood has allowed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to execute arrest warrant for former information minister Fawad Chaudhry and facilitate his participation in the ongoing investigation.

Acting on the court’s directive, the NAB sought the arrest of Fawad Chaudhry on Saturday for alleged “misuse of authority” in a construction project. During the hearing presided over by Judicial Magistrate Yasir Mehmood, NAB officials, and the investigation officer were present.

NAB officials informed the judge that Fawad’s custody was necessary for an inquiry into charges of “corruption and misuse of authority.” They explained that the NAB chairman had issued the warrants under Section 24a of the accountability laws, highlighting that the former federal minister was presently in judicial custody.

In court, the NAB elaborated that an inquiry regarding a dual carriageway project from Jehlum to Pind Dadan Khan, situated in Fawad’s residential area as mentioned in the warrants, was underway. It was alleged that the former PTI leader had “utilised political influence and purchased land” for the project.

The NAB urged the judge to authorise the implementation of the arrest warrants, a request that the court granted. The Adiala jail superintendent was directed to ensure the suspect’s compliance with the warrants.

Fawad Chaudhry, a former PTI MNA, was arrested in November and initially remanded in police custody for two days in connection with an August 2022 case, where he was alleged to have accepted a Rs5 million bribe from a citizen.

Following an extension of his physical remand by a day, he was subsequently placed on judicial remand and is currently incarcerated at Adiala Jail. Earlier this month, a Rawalpindi court had granted the Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) a one-day physical remand of Fawad in a graft case.

Fawad’s wife, Hiba, also confirmed the development in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday.

In another post, she expressed concerns about a prevailing “fear in the atmosphere,” suggesting that individuals might be hindered from contesting elections in their constituencies if they find themselves incarcerated.

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