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NAB chairman steps in to defend plea bargain law

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry spoke in favour of the plea bargain on Wednesday, saying NAB “always performs within the ambit of the Constitution”.

A statement issued by NAB read that the provision of plea bargain exists in the “laws of many countries” and not only in Pakistan, adding that it has “helped recover money from looters and plunderers, and return it to the coffer”.

While speaking to media, Zaman said that according to Section 25 (b) of National Accountability Ordinance, “every criminal is bound to place a request for plea bargain”.

However, the request for plea bargain was thoroughly reviewed keeping the opinion of legal experts on the case in mind and only then the request for plea bargain was submitted before the accountability court for approval, he added.

According to the statement, since its inception, NAB has recovered Rs285 billion and that it has recovered Rs45 billion in “recent” times.

NAB chairman also said that the accountability bureau deposits each and every penny that is recovered through the process of plea bargain in the national treasury.

He said that under the provision of plea bargain, a person who confesses to the crime becomes ineligible to participate in national politics for a period of 10 years.

The person also becomes ineligible to take a loan from any bank or financial institution, the statement added.

“If he is a government employee, the applicant stands removed from his job routinely,” it said.

NAB chairman also categorically denied that the bureau receives “a share” once the plea bargain is finalised, adding that “what-so-ever amount received is deposited in the national exchequer”.

courtesy : dawn news

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