ISLAMABAD: Property tycoon Malik Riaz did not appear in the second hearing of the Bahria Icon Tower Reference in the Accountability Court while the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) appeared unaware of his whereabouts.
When Judge Mohammad Bashir started hearing the case filed against the alleged land grab, the four parties, Malik Riaz, his son-in-law Zain Malik, former executive director of Karachi City Government's master plan and Waqas Rafat, did not appear in court.
The judge expressed his displeasure and expressed a desire to issue a declaration against Malik Riaz and other accused on absentia but former Commissioner Abdul Subhan Memon's lawyer said that the declaration could be issued under Section 87-88 of the Criminal Procedure Code at this time is when the court begins proceedings.
The judge adjourned the hearing for about an hour, seeking a report from the NAB investigating officer.
Later in court, the NAB investigating officer admitted that he was unaware of the whereabouts of his son-in-law, Zain Malik and Waqas.
They said that when the man went to Malik Riaz's house, the staff said that they had gone abroad but the staff did not know their destination abroad.
At which the judge asked the investigating officer where the suspect went when the Anti-Corruption Branch tried to investigate, to which the officer reported that the bureau had access to travel records of a suspect other than travelling to the United Arab Emirates.
The investigating officer said he had heard from someone that the suspect was based in Canada, at which the judge suggested the NAB officer be notified of a court summons.
Further hearing of the matter was postponed until March 20.
It may be recalled that on January 15, NAB filed a reference to the Bahria Icon Tower Karachi, and Malik Riaz and Zain Malik were absent when the court began hearing it last month.
It should be noted that the Bahria Icon Tower Reference is only part of the fake accounts case; this is the first reference in which the Chairman of the Bahria Town has been nominated, with the NAB also nominating his son-in-law Zain Malik.