ISLAMABAD

Brother-in-law of Ghazan Hoti, Raza Ali Khan who was the main contractor in the KPK police weapons purchase scam, has opted for plea bargain and submitted an application to return 195 million to the national exchequer, sources told The Nation Tuesday.

On September 24, 2014, the Supreme Court had dismissed the bail petition of former IGP KP, Malik Naveed, and Raza Ali Khan in this case.

Admitting the NAB application, a three-member bench comprising Justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Ather Saeed and Justice Sh. Azmat Saeed had dismissed the bail plea of former IGP KP and Raza Ali, the brother-in-law of former chief minister KPK Ameer Haider Hoti's brother Ameer Ghazan Hoti.

When contacted by The Nation, NAB Spokesman Hafiz Muhammad Irfan confirmed that Raza has submitted an application for plea bargain under section 25 (b) of National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999. He said that NAB has so far recovered approximately Rs 200 million in this case.

As per details, NAB KPK on receipt of complaints had authorized an inquiry against KP police officers and others for alleged embezzlement in procurement of weapons, equipment and vehicles in 2008-10 violating government rules thus causing a huge loss to state exchequer.

On request of police department, the KP government had approved purchase, upgrading of weapons and equipment for its use to improve law and order and security situation in the province. An amount of over Rs 7 billion was released by government for procurement of weapons, vehicles and equipment in year 2008-10.

During inquiry, it was revealed that gross violation of procurement rules was committed by the purchase committee in awarding tenders to favourite contractors who had no previous experience of supplying such items and for which payments were made in advance.

Former IGP Malik Naveed was accused of misusing his authority as FC Commandant and conducting illegal recruitment of about 500 people. The case, which was earlier tried in 2011, was revisited as part of NAB chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry's new initiative to review pending cases.

An accountability court had ordered Naveed's release on October 10, 2011 after he was detained in a reference filed by NAB.

On November 24, 2010, NAB had filed reference in the accountability court seeking trial of the former IGP for misusing his authority. NAB sent a brief history of the case to its head office in which the officials of FC, including its former commandant, were blamed for recruiting candidates illegally.

After conducting the tests and interviews, the body had prepared a list of 776 recommended candidates with an additional 183 in the reserved list.

However, according to the case brief, the commandant had appointed 1,246 candidates out of whom only 750 were recommended by the committee while the remaining 496 had been recruited illegally.

Naveed had admitted that he "relaxed recruitment rules and procedure". "When 50 to 60 per cent of FC soldiers deserted us in Buner and Swat after the Taliban (launched an) offensive and when 22 FC soldiers were killed in a (single) day and police stations were set on fire by militants, we were faced with a very difficult and challenging situation," he said while defending his decision to recruit soldiers in violation of rules. "I was left with no option," he had added.

"Those who have lodged a reference against me in the NAB court had lost their nerve when the government lost its writ because of the deteriorating law and order situation in Swat. These people used to tell me to relax recruitment rules and procedure," he had alleged, referring to the provincial government at that time.

Earlier, NAB had arrested budget officer Javed Khan and the supplier Arshad Majeed in the same case. Further proceedings in the case are in progress. Malik Naveed had served Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police from March 2008 and retired on August 30, 2010.