Friday, June 17, 2011

Prosecution witnesses deny Moonis Elahi's accounts

Lahore (16-06-2011) The four prosecution witnesses named in the NICL case against senior Pakistan Muslim League leader Moonis Elahi have today completely rejected the FIA version. Testifying before the special judge Banking Court in Lahore the witnesses have denied opening of any bank account by Moonis Elahi’s manager Mohammad Maalik and have informed the learned court that the accounts in question were personally opened and operated by two individuals namely Adil Manzur and Khadim Rasul.

Earlier when Moonis Elahi was brought to the court amid tight security he was welcomed by a large number of party leaders and workers. Before the start of the proceedings Moonis Elahi addressed the Banking Court judge Abdul Rasheed and expressed his complete faith in the impartiality of the judiciary.
In today’s proceedings, statements of four prosecution witnesses belonging to Allied Bank were recorded. They included three Allied Bank airport branch employees Omar Farooq Dhami(officer), Nadia Faisal (Manager Customer Services), Shaukat Hussain (Rider)  and Mohammad Atif Saleem (Manager Customer Services)working at Allied Bank, Multan Road branch. Mohammad Atif Saleem in his statement before the learned judge testified that the FIA officials threatened him of dire consequences and coerced him into signing on a blank page which was against banking rules. He stated that Khadim Rasul had opened the account at his branch and was solely operating it. He informed the court that he had visited the FIA office a few times but had never recorded any statement with them. Omar Dhami in his statement testified that the FIA authorities had required him to provide the relevant bank record which he complied but at no point had he recorded his statement with the FIA. He testified that the FIA officials forced him to sign on a blank page and he was not aware of the contents of the statement later attributed to him by the FIA officials. Nadia Faisal in her statement apprized the court that one Adil Manzur had approached the bank for opening an account and the said account was opened after verifying his national identity card from NADRA. The third prosecution witness, Shaukat Hussain testified before the court that he had seen Adil Manzur opening the bank account and was not aware of anything else. The court was reconvened at 3 pm on the insistence of Moonis Elahi’s counsels where the statements of the fourth prosecution witness, Mohammad Atif Saleem along with the FIA investigation officer were recorded. The court was later adjourned till June 22.
Later talking to the media, Moonis Elahi’s counsel Rai Bashir Ahmad said that four out of five prosecution witnesses had refuted the statements attributed to them by the FIA officials against Moonis Elahi and the prosecution had failed to obtain anything against Moonis Elahi from them. He said that the prosecution witnesses had repeated the statements which they had earlier recorded with a magistrate where they had said that the accounts were personally opened and operated by Adil Manzur and Khadim Rasul.