- Axact CEO arrested by agency’s anti-corruption circle in Islamabad.
- Defence lawyer Lateef Khosa questions delay in proceedings.
- “Verbal statement cannot be considered confessional statement.”
ISLAMABAD: A district and sessions court in Islamabad on Friday granted three-day remand of Axact CEO Shoaib Shaikh in a bribery case filed against him.
Earlier today, Shaikh was presented before the court after he was arrested by the FIA for allegedly giving Rs5 million as a bribe to then-additional district and sessions judge Pervaizul Qadir Memon for getting acquittal in a fake degree case.
During the hearing, the prosecutor informed the court that the statement of judge Parvez Qadir was part of an appeal in the Islamabad High Court (IHC). A trial court had convicted Sheikh and other co-accused and the judge had confessed to having received the bribe before two judges of the IHC.
Defence lawyer Lateef Khosa questioned the delayed proceedings into the matter, saying the inquiry was conducted in 2018 and the action is being taken now after five years.
“Verbal statement cannot be considered confessional statement,” he argued.
After hearing arguments from both sides, Judicial Magistrate Umar Bashir remanded Shoaib Shaikh in three-day physical remand.
According to an FIA spokesperson, the Axact CEO was arrested by the agency’s anti-corruption circle in the federal capital.
The official said the suspect had paid a bribe for acquittal in the case registered against him under the fake degree scam in Islamabad’s Cybercrime Circle.
The spokesperson added that the agency had started investigating Shaikh following his arrest. The judge, too, was nominated in the case against Shaikh, the FIA added.
Shaikh was summoned on February 15, 2023, in connection with the bribe case, however, he did not appear before the probe team.
Memon had acquitted Shaikh, CEO of Axact, the company that made billions of dollars by selling fake degrees worldwide, and others in fake degrees scam on October 31, 2016.
Later, the judge was sacked on February 15, 2018, by the IHC as he confessed before a departmental promotion committee that he had received the bribe for acquitting the accused.
The IHC division bench in April 2018 had set aside the October 31, 2016 acquittal order passed by Memon.
Meanwhile, a case had been filed against the CEO of Axact under the Pakistan Penal Code and the Anti-Bribery Act with the FIA at the request of the IHC registrar.