RAWALPINDI: A special court conducting the narcotics smuggling trial against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Hanif Abbasi and others will announce the verdict in the case today (Saturday).
As Abbasi’s counsel concluded his arguments during the hearing today, the court reserved its judgment.
We will announce the judgment in three to four hours, the judge said.
A day earlier, Judge Mohammad Akram Khan had rejected Abbasi’s plea to delay the trial’s deadline, noting that it has to follow orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC).
The judge also remarked that he will continue hearing arguments into the night if it takes that long.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had dismissed Abbasi’s petition against the LHC order directing to conclude the ephedrine case against him by July 21.
On July 11, the LHC Rawalpindi Bench, deciding on a plea filed by Shahid Orakzai, had ordered that the trial be conducted daily from July 16 onwards and concluded on July 21.
Abbasi, who is contesting the upcoming election from NA-60, Rawalpindi, faces charges of misusing 500kg of the controlled chemical ephedrine which he obtained for his company, Gray Pharmaceutical, in 2010.
The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had registered a case against Abbasi and his accomplices in June 2012 under various sections of the Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Act.
ANF officials claim the substance was sold by Abbasi to narcotics smugglers who used it to make ‘party drugs’.
The trial has been ongoing in a CNS Court in Rawalpindi.
Abbasi and the other accused, including his brother, were indicted in 2014 by the CNS Court.
Abbasi, a former MNA from Rawalpindi, is expected to have a tough electoral contest on July 25 with Sheikh Rasheed — who is allied with PML-N’s chief opponent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.