IHC acquits Hamid Saeed Kazmi in Hajj corruption case

IHC acquits Hamid Saeed Kazmi in Hajj corruption case

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday acquitted former religious affairs minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi in the Hajj corruption case, reported media.

Former director general (DG) Haj Rao Shakeel and former religious affairs joint secretary Aftabul Islam were also exonerated by the court.

A hearing was held by Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani regarding the Hajj corruption case on Monday. The court accepted the appeals and proceeded acquittal orders for Kazmi, Shakeel and Aftab.

Previously Hamid Kazmi and Raja Aftab had been sentenced to 16 years jail time each, while Rao Shakeel was handed down 40 years. The three convicts were also ordered to pay a penalty of Rs 150 million each.

Between 2010 and 2012, the Hajj corruption scandal rocked the national political scene and led to the departure of both Hamid Saeed Kazmi and Azam Swati from the federal cabinet.

The former also spent almost two years in prison on charges of irregularities in the 2009 Hajj operation.

The former religious affair minister was bombarded with allegations of involvement in the scandal and inflicting huge losses to the national coffers two years ago. A case was then registered leading to Kazmi’s arrest on March 15, 2011.

Kazmi was subsequently indicted on charges of corruption in the case on May 30, 2012, to which he pleaded not guilty.