Lahore - An accountability court on Thursday delayed the indictment of PML-N leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and his brother Khawaja Salman Rafique in Paragon City as the former could not be presented before the court for being in Islamabad following the issuance of his production order.

However, Khawaja Salman was presented before the court from jail. His lawyer told the court, “Saad Rafique could not be presented due to issuance of production order from the National Assembly speaker.” The court remarked, “The production order should have been submitted before me. And I then allowed it or not.”

Accountability Court Judge Syed Jawadul Hassan observed, “Suspects are called (by the National Assembly speaker) through issuance of production orders (without court permission).”

The AC said, “I had to indict the suspects. My work has been impeded (due to the issuance of production order).” How could a suspect go (to attend the National Assembly session) without my permission,” the court questioned.

“Who has been submitted the production order? to the court or jail superintendent?” the court asked the NAB prosecutor. “…production order should have been submitted to me then I allowed it or not,” the court remarked.

Salman was produced before the court on expiry of the remand term.  Subsequently, the court adjourned further hearing till August 20 while extending judicial remand of suspects. The court also re-issued arrest warrants of co-accused, including Nadeem Zia, Umar Zia, and Farhan Ali.

In addition to the PML-N leaders and former ministers, Nadeem Zia, Umar Zia, and Farhan Ali were also nominated in the reference.