ACE tells Lahore court Rs4.1m recovered from former Punjab CM's residence during search
LAHORE – The Punjab Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) informed a district and sessions court in Lahore on Saturday that it had recovered Rs4.1 million from the house of PTI President Parvez Elahi during an investigation into the Punjab Assembly illegal appointments case.
Elahi’s counsel Amir Saeed Rawn however disputed the claim and said it was a “bogus recovery”.
The ACE had arrested Elahi last month on charges of appointing Muhammad Khan Bhatti as his principal secretary during his tenure as the chief minister of Punjab. It alleged that Bhatti’s appointment was not in accordance with the law.
Elahi has been arrested more than a dozen times in various cases since June 2023 when a nationwide crackdown was started on the PTI leaders and workers in the aftermath of the May 9 riots.
On Sept 1, Islamabad police re-arrested Elahi under the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) ordinance near his residence soon after the LHC set him free and issued a restraining order against his possible arrest by any agency or preventive detention.
Today, Elahi was presented before the court of Judicial Magistrate Imran Abid.
ACE’s investigating officer Muhammad Sabtain told the court that they took Elahi to his residence on Zahoor Elahi Road, where a sum of Rs4.1 million was retrieved from his bedroom, situated adjacent to a garage on the left side.
The officer emphasised that the recovery was made with Elahi’s confirmation, as he was present during the search at his house.
However, countering the ACE’s assertions, Elahi insisted that he had been in jail throughout the night and had not been taken anywhere. He stated, “I was asleep, and I have no knowledge of where they supposedly found the money.”
“It was only here in jail that I learned about the alleged recovery,” Elahi conveyed to the court.
Elahi claimed that the raiding officers had ulterior motives, seeking to secure their own positions.
The magistrate then pressed the investigation officer over Elahi’s denial of being taken anywhere. The officer responded, pointing out that such claims were common from suspects. “We indeed transported Elahi to his residence. Otherwise, how did we bring this money?”
After the arguments, the court approved a two-day extension in Elahi’s physical remand and instructed the authorities to ensure the appearance of the PTI leader before the court on Monday.
Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 29, 2024 (Thursday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.1 for buying and 282.35 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352 for buying, and 355.5 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.3.
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