PARIS: French court upholds ex-minister’s fraud conviction, A French appeals court on Tuesday upheld a tax fraud conviction against former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac, whose hidden overseas accounts became one of the most embarrassing episodes of Francois Hollande’s Socialist presidency.
But the judges reduced his sentence from an initial three years behind bars to two years with two more suspended. Sentences of two years’ jail time or less are usually reduced in France to community service. At the same time Cahuzac, a former plastic surgeon was handed a new 300,000 euro ($355,000) fine and barred from holding public office for five years.
Cahuzac, who had been tasked with cracking down on tax cheats, was forced to resign from the government in 2013 after it emerged that he stashed hundreds of thousands of euros in a Swiss bank account. Asked about the money, which came from his lucrative Parisian hair transplant clinic, he then lied both to Hollande and parliament before coming clean and was convicted in 2016. Cahuzac, 65, appeared calm as his sentence was read at the Paris courthouse on Tuesday.
He had spoken during the appeal trial of his “fear of going to prison”. The ruling was a blow to France’s financial crimes office, set up in the wake of the scandal, which had urged the court to uphold the sentence for an “exceptionally serious” crime.
Israel demolishes Palestinian village of Al-Araqeeb for 132nd time
RAMALLAH: Israeli occupation bulldozers Thursday demolished the Palestinian village of Al-Araqeeb in the occupied Negev desert for the 132nd time.
High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel said in a statement that Israeli bulldozers, backed by Israeli occupation
forces stormed the Palestinian village and started demolishing tents and houses, leaving men, women, and children homeless. The Israeli occupation police arrested a number of Al-Araqeeb’s residents.
COAS confirms death sentence to 15 hardcore terrorists
RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa Thursday confirmed death sentences to 15 hardcore terrorists, who were involved in heinous offenses related to terrorism.
According to a press release issued here by Inter-Services Public Relations, the convicts were involved in attacking armed forces/law enforcement agencies of Pakistan, destruction of educational institutions and killing of innocent civilians.
On the whole, they were involved in the killing of 45 persons, which included four civilians and 41 armed forces/frontier constabulary/police officials and injuring 103 others. Arms and explosives were also recovered from their
They were tried by special military courts. They confessed their offenses before the judicial magistrates and trial courts and were awarded death sentence. Besides, six convicts have also been awarded imprisonment.
The detail of each case of death sentence is as follow: Khiwal Muhammad son of (S/O) Babo Rahman was a member of a proscribed organization and involved in attacking Armed Forces of Pakistan, which resulted in death of Captain Bilal Kamran, Havildar Yousaf Khan along with four other soldiers and
injuries to 39 others. Saddam Ullah S/O Sher Nawab Khan was a member of a proscribed organization and involved in attacking Armed Forces/Law Enforcement Agencies of Pakistan, which resulted in the death of Havildar Ghulam Yasin, Havildar Syed Ali Ahmed Shah, Havildar Muhammad Ali along with 14 soldiers and injuries to 39 others.
Izhar S/O Bakhat Buland, Jan Bacha S/O Bacha Rawan, Sharafat Ali S/O Muhammad Amin and Habibullah S/O Ghulam Ahad were members of the proscribed organization. They were involved in killing of innocent civilians, destruction of an educational institution and attacking Armed Forces/Law Enforcement Agencies of Pakistan, which resulted in death of civilian Siraj Ud Din, civilian Shah Nazar, Naib Subedar Muhammad Hanif, Havildar Muhammad Ilyas, Havildar Muhammad Naseer, Havildar Muhammad Qayyum along with five soldiers and injuries to 12 others. They were also found in
possession of firearms and explosives.
Said Ullah S/O Awal Jan, Zar Muhammad S/O Sakhi Mar Jan and Alif Khan S/O Sardar Khan were also members of a proscribed organization. They were involved in attacking Law Enforcement Agencies of Pakistan, which resulted in the death of Naib Subedar Gul Tayaz along
with a soldier and injuries to two others. They were also found in possession
of firearms and explosives.
Mujahid S/O Yar Wali was a member of a proscribed organization. He was involved in the destruction of Government Boys and Girls Primary Schools, Sheikhmal Khel (Khyber Agency). He was also involved in causing death to a soldier and injuries to two others.
Tariq Ali S/O Bawar Shah was also a member of a proscribed organization. He was involved in attacking Law Enforcement Agencies of Pakistan, which resulted in the death of Sub Inspector Umer Khayam along with three police officials and injuries to six others. He was also found
in possession of a firearm.
Israr Ahmed S/O Taj Muhammad was a member of a proscribed organization. He was involved in killing of police constable Ijaz Ahmed, Mst Zarmina and injuries to two other civilians. He was also found in
possession of a firearm.
Kaleem Ullah S/O Hayat Ullah was also a member of a proscribed organization. He was involved in causing death of a civilian, Jibraheel and attacking Armed Forces of Pakistan, which resulted in injuries to a soldier. He was also found in possession of a firearm.
Muhammad Rehman S/O Sher Ramzan was a member of a proscribed organization. The convict was involved in causing the death of Naik Ahmed Wafa by slaughtering him with a knife. He also kidnapped two soldiers for ransom.
Fayaz Ullah S/O Muhammad Nawaz Khan was a member of a proscribed organization and involved in attacking Armed Forces of Pakistan, which resulted in the death of Sepoy Shahzad Pervez.
Reference approved against Babar Ghauri for 974 illegal inductions
ISLAMABAD: The Executive Board Meeting (EBM) of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) approved filing of corruption reference against former Federal Minister Babar Khan Ghouri and others on the alleged accusations of abuse of authority and causing national exchequer the losses up to Rs 2.85 billion by illegally appointing 974 persons.
The Executive Board Meeting (EBM) of NAB was chaired by Justice Javed Iqbal, Chairman NAB at NAB Headquarters.
The EBM meeting took various decisions. It may be clarified that NAB initiates complaint verifications, inquiries, and investigations on basis of received information/complaint which are not final. Before finalizing all the cases against the accused, NAB will verify the allegations from the accused persons as per the law. The details of decisions taken by NAB EBM are as follows.
The EBM authorized filing reference against Sikander Aziz and others on accusations of abuse of authority and occupying the land of Peshawar Cantonment Board by preparing fake documents, consequently inflicting heavy losses to the national exchequer.
The EBM authorized conducting an inquiry against former federal minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and others. They have been accused of alleged money laundering and having assets beyond known sources of income, thus causing Rs 3668.671 million to the national kitty.
The EBM authorized conducting an inquiry against officials/officers of workers welfare board Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan. They have been accused of committing alleged corruption in the purchase of pieces of equipment in Matric Tech project, causing Rs 100 million losses to the national kitty.
The EBM approved conducting an inquiry against the officials/officers of National Highway Authority (NHA) for awarding an illegal contract in Multan-Sukkur Motorway project which inflicted Rs 259.352 billion losses to the national exchequer. The EBM approved conducting an inquiry against the management/revenue officers of Sahil Private limited for causing whopping losses to the national kitty by illegal allotment of government land for commercial use.
The EBM authorized inquiry against former minister for Railways/ Provincial minister for irrigation Sindh Zafar Ali Leghari and others for involvement in corruption and occupying government land, inflicting Rs 574 million losses to the national exchequer.
The EBM approved inquiry against Special Assistant to Chief Minister Sindh Behlaj Mal for having assets beyond known sources of income causing Rs 1 billion losses to the national kitty.
The EBM also approved conducting an inquiry against former MNA Abdul Hakim Baloch Malir, Karachi for having assets beyond known sources of income and causing Rs 763 million to the national kitty.
The EBM also authorized inquiry against district Nazim Peshawar. They have been accused of illegally transferring big amounts to District Council inflicting Rs 100 million losses to the national kitty.
The EBM authorized conducting an inquiry against cabinet division for issuing Rs 9 billion to PWD for allegedly allowing development works in NA 21 Mansehra the constituency of Capt ® Safdar former MNA from his favorite contractors.
The EBM authorized inquiry against former Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Amjad Ali Khan, officers of C &W Department, officers of the irrigation department. They have been accused of alleged abuse of authority, corruption in development funds, illegal sale of irrigation department land and illegally cutting Shesham trees and selling to favorites, inflicting losses to the national kitty.
The EBM authorized conducting an inquiry against former MPA Anita Irfan Bashir and others on the accusation of alleged corruption in the funds of Christian Housing Scheme Quetta. This act had caused losses to the national kitty. The EBM authorized conducting of inquiry against Ramesh Lal MNA and others for abuse of authority and having assets beyond known sources of income.
The EBM authorized conducting an inquiry against former member Provincial Assembly Qamber, Shahdadkot, Sindh Sardar Ghaibi Khan Chandio and others for inflicting losses to national by alleged corruption and involvement in abuse of authority.
The EBM authorized inquiry against former member provincial assembly Ahmed Hussain Dahar and others for allegedly having assets beyond income and abuse of authority.
The EBM authorized conducting an inquiry against former member provincial/ National Assembly Rai Mansab Ali Khan, Tehsildar Muzaffargarh, Rai Inayat and others. They have been accused of causing losses to national kitty by allotting state land by abusing their authority.
The EBM approved conducting an inquiry against former member Provincial Assembly Sohail Zafar, former town Nazim, Gujranwala Rizwan Zafar and others for alleged abuse of authority and having assets beyond income.
The EBM authorized conducting an inquiry against Abdul Aleem Khan and others for their involvement in the suspicious transaction of Euro 50 million.
The EBM approved conducting inquiry against National Testing Services’ (NTS) Haroon Rashid, Waheedullah Nagra, Muhammad Javed, former regional head Mohib- ur- Rehman and Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare department and others for their involvement in alleged corruption and non transparency in examinations, whereas investigations were approved against a private person Tahir Mehmood Khalwani arrested for committing corruption and cheating people. The EBM authorized conducting investigation against former VC Punjab University, Lahore Dr. Mujahid Kamran, and others for alleged abuse of authority and illegal appointments.
Chairman NAB Justice Javed Iqbal said NAB was committed to eliminating corruption from Pakistan and has been vigorously pursuing the policy of ‘Accountability for All’. NAB not only considers the elimination of corruption as its national responsibility but also using their best abilities for making corruption-free Pakistan.
He directed the officers to conclude inquiries, investigations and complaint verifications on merit and in light of available evidence that too within the prescribed time frame. The looted amount would be deposited in the national exchequer so that the country could be steered to the road to progress and prosperity, he added.