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Asif Hashmi acquitted of ETPB funds misuse.

LAHORE -- A special court on Thursday acquitted Asif Hashmi, a PPP leader and former chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), in a case of alleged misappropriation of the board's donation amount.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had lodged a case against Mr Hashmi, accusing him of distributing the donation of millions of rupees on personal liking. The agency also alleged that Mr Hashmi failed to justify the use of Rs34,000 from the donation's amount.

The court acquitted him for lack of evidence.

Talking to the media outside the court, Mr Hashmi said this was the only case wherein charges of corruption were leveled against him. He said many other cases had been made against him on charge of misuse of authority. However, he said, all the cases were fabricated and politically motivated. He hoped that the courts would soon acquit him of other cases too.

Mr Hashmi is facing trial in 16 cases made by the FIA and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He secured bail in 14 cases from the Lahore High Court, and was acquitted in one.

The NAB had arrested Mr Hashmi on his return to the country from UAE last year. He served as ETPB chairman between 2007 and 2013. He was accused of misusing his authority and misappropriation of public funds.

The bureau also accused him of selling 1, 946 kanal land of the board to the DHA on a throwaway price. In another reference, it accused him of making illegal investment worth Rs1,870 million with a private company that caused a huge loss to the national exchequer.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:May 31, 2019
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