NAB prosecutor wilted under pressure
ISLAMABAD: Another senior official of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) — Additional Prosecutor General (Accountability) Fawzi Ali — came under pressure and suffered a heart attack soon after attending a hearing on the rental power projects (RPP) case in the Supreme Court on Jan 11, Dawn has learnt.
“Mr Ali, 53, was admitted to PIMS’s CCU on Jan 11 with acute chest pain. He was diagnosed as a case of acute coronary syndrome. He needs angioplasty and one drug eluting stent. Total cost of his procedure, including hospital fee and other charges, is Rs183,000,” said a medical report of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PMIS) Hospital.
Mr Ali refused to comment and put off his cellphone.
A doctor at the hospital confirmed that Mr Ali remained under treatment for over a week and was operated upon. He said the patient had come in a critical condition with acute stress and typical angina pain. “Mr Ali had no history of any heart disease and he suffered heart pain for the first time,” the doctor said.
He said there was a blockage in the left artery of Mr Ali’s heart and a stent was inserted to clear the artery.
According to sources, Mr Ali was not feeling well and did not want to attend the hearing on Jan 11. Another NAB lawyer, Rana Zahid, appeared in the apex court. But the court insisted that Mr Ali attend the hearing and come up with the relevant record. Eventually, Mr Ali had to appear before the court and present the record.
It is the second such ‘pressure’ case, but not fatal.
Earlier, NAB assistant director Kamran Faisal, who was investigating the Rs22 billion RPP scam, was found dead in his room in mysterious circumstances on Friday. He was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his official residence in Federal Lodges, Islamabad.
His death came three days after the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and 15 others in connection with the RPP scam. He was reportedly under tremendous pressure and had requested the apex court to detach him from the investigation.
According to the PIMS report, Fawzi Ali was discharged from the hospital with an advice that he should rest for a few days and avoid going to work.
SUO MOTU NOTICE: NAB Chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari said in a private TV programme on Tuesday that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry could take notice of Kamran Faisal’s mysterious death to meet the desire of his family and colleagues.
“Who am I to ask the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice on the issue as it is the prerogative of the apex court to take such an action,” he observed.
It is expected that Faisal’s colleagues will request the court to take notice of his mysterious death during the hearing of the RPP case on Wednesday. Admiral Bokhari said Faisal had not been under pressure from any NAB official, including Human Resource Director General Kausar Iqbal Malik. “Kamran Faisal was dissociated from the case on his request, but he was again attached with it on the order of the Supreme Court,” he said.
He said that after the unfortunate death of Faisal, which was under investigation and would take time to reach a logical conclusion, other officers already working in a tense environment were under tremendous pressure and everybody in NAB was grieved by this incident.
Faisal’s father Abdul Hameed Chaudhry insisted that his son had not committed suicide; he was murdered. Asked who was behind this, he said: “Those who had been affected by his report might be involved in his murder.”
INVESTIGATION: Based on circumstantial evidence, police investigators have, for the first time, started looking into the possibility of murder, sources close to the investigation told Dawn.
“Investigators suspect that it may be a murder, and not suicide. Circumstantial evidence suggested that it was more than suicide,” a senior police officer said.
He said some personal belongings of Mr Faisal, including a laptop, were found missing when NAB and police officials had entered his room and found his body hanging from the ceiling fan. The position of the body and other related stuff, including cummerbund, table, chair and their height and distance raised questions whether it was a suicide or murder.
The officer said the police’s forensic department had collected fingerprints from the door, handles, bed, table, chair and crockery to ascertain if someone else was there. But he said police might not be able to get hold of vital evidence as four NAB officials were already in the room when the fingerprints were being collected.
The fingerprints have been sent to the National Database Registration Authority.
The officer said the investigators had got a clue that the victim had been asked by one of the most senior officers of NAB to sign a blank affidavit, but he refused. Police wanted to include some senior officials of the bureau in the investigation, but they were not cooperating with police investigators, he added.
He said that instead of recording their statements at police office, the NAB officials asked the investigators to come to their office and recorded the same in the presence of their legal experts who helped them in answering the questions.
The officer said the investigators were of the opinion that Kamran Faisal was under pressure, but ruled out the possibility that it could have been the reason for suicide.
The government officers, especially those associated with investigation and law and order cases, face pressure during their entire career, but how many of them take their life, he retorted.
Another officer privy to the investigation said prescriptions of different doctors found in the room also raised suspicions about the medical history of the victim. But the investigators, he said, ruled out the possibility that the victim was getting treatment from any psychiatrist.
A prescription by Dr Najma Aziz, of the Federal Government Services Hospital, was found in the room, but the doctor denied in a single page statement that Faisal was getting regular treatment from her.
The officer said the doctor attended to the victim only once in the hospital, where he had come as an ordinary patient in October last year. An X-ray of his neck was done and some blood sample was taken.
The other prescriptions were from general physicians, the officer said, adding that the medicines were ordinary ones like aspirin and panadol.