Rehman Malik to face three-year imprisonment

A Pak court restored a 3yr imprisonment for Interior Min Rehman Malik on Monday.

Updated: May 17, 2010, 23:51 PM IST

Lahore: A Pakistani court on Monday dismissed
an appeal by Interior Minister Rehman Malik against his
conviction in two corruption references by an accountability
court and restored a three-year imprisonment awarded to him.

The accountability court had sentenced Rehman Malik to
a three-year imprisonment in each of the two NAB references.

A two-member bench of the Lahore High Court comprising
Chief Justice Khawaja Mohammad Sharif and Justice Waqar Hasan
Mir dismissed Malik`s plea and restored the sentence after he
failed to appear in the court.

Malik`s counsel claimed no notice was sent to the
minister to appear before the court and a verdict given in his
absence would be illegal. He also requested the Lahore High
Court to halt the punishment orders against him.

Malik is out of the country and there are unconfirmed
reports that he may not return till the matter is settled.

After the Supreme Court scrapped the controversial
National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) last December, the two
cases against Rehman Malik in which he was sentenced for a
three-year-long imprisonment each were reopened in the
accountability court.

Malik was accused of receiving two luxury cars as
graft and taking away 20-tola and Rs 700,000 from the house of
an accused during a raid by Federal Investigation Agency
(FIA) in mid 1990s. He was then assistant director of FIA.

NRO was issued by Gen Pervez Musharraf in 2007 to over
8,000 people, including President Asif Ali Zardari.

Malik had filed a petition in the High Court against
the Accountability Court`s ruling, following which the court
had suspended the rulings of the accountability court (against
him) and granted him bail.

Legal experts said Malik can now be arrested under the
law.

"The minister is in the dock as even he moves to the
Supreme Court against the decision of the LHC, he first will
have to resign from his office," Muneeb Ahmed advocate said.

However, Justice (retired) Wajihuddin said Rehman
Malik would continue to hold his office if succeeded to get a
`stay order or bail from the apex court.

PTI