Verdict in ephedrine case against Hanif Abbasi on July 21: LHC

RAWALPINDI, July 11 (INP): The Lahore High Court’s (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench ordered on Wednesday that the narcotics smuggling trial against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Hanif Abbasi be concluded on July 21.

LHC Justice Abdul Rehman Lodhi, while hearing a petition filed by Shahid Orakzai, also ruled that daily proceedings in the case take place from July 16 onwards.

Abbasi, who is contesting the upcoming election from NA-60, Rawalpindi, faces charges of misusing 500kg of the controlled chemical ephedrine which he obtained for his company, Gray Pharmaceutical, in 2010. The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had registered a case against Abbasi and his accomplices in June 2012 under various sections of the CNS Act. ANF officials claim the substance was sold by Abbasi to narcotics smugglers who used it to make ‘party drugs’. The trial has been ongoing in a Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Court in Rawalpindi. Abbasi and the other accused, including his brother, were indicted in 2014 by the CNS Court. At an earlier hearing on April 20, as per The News, Abbasi appeared before Judge Muhammad Akram Khan and requested him to de-freeze his accounts. However, the ANF strongly opposed the request and told the court that if Abbasi is acquitted in the ephedrine case, all his accounts will be de-frozen automatically, but it was not possible to de-freeze them at this stage. At present, Abbasi has also been accused of impeding officials of the National Accountability Bureau from arrested PML-N leader Capt (retd) Safdar after he was sentenced to jail in the Avenfield properties case. Abbasi, a former MNA from Rawalpindi, is expected to have a tough electoral contest on July 25 with Sheikh Rasheed — who is allied with PML-N’s chief opponent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. INP/AJ