Gilani's son gets bail after being briefly arrested

Pakistan's former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani's son Ali Musa was today arrested and briefly detained by the army-run Anti-Narcotics Force in connection with alleged irregularities in the import of the controlled drug Ephedrine before he was granted bail by the apex court.

Ali Musa was arrested at the gates of the Supreme Court when he arrived this morning to seek pre-arrest bail. He was taken to an ANF office in Rawalpindi and detained in a room.

Following his arrest, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk directed the ANF to produce Ali Musa within half an hour. ANF officials brought Ali Musa back to the apex court shortly before 11 am and the bench granted him bail against a surety of Rs 500,000.

The apex court then adjourned the case till September 25. Ali Musa has been accused of influencing officials of the Health Ministry to allocate Ephedrine quotas of 9,000 kg to two pharmaceutical companies while his father was the premier.

After his father was convicted of contempt and disqualified by the apex court in June for not reopening graft cases against the President, Ali Musa was elected to the parliament from his father’s seat.

Gilani has said his son was framed in a baseless case. He also accused army officials who lead the ANF of exceeding their powers in investigating the matter.
Footage on television showed unformed personnel of the ANF grabbing Ali Musa's coat and dragging him out his car when he arrived at the Supreme Court this morning.
His lawyers complained about the behaviour of the ANF personnel to the apex court.

The bench took exception to the incident and directed the ANF to bring Ali Musa back to the court. During his appearance before the bench, Ali Musa said he had always cooperated with investigators and had appeared before them about eight times.

Ali Musa contended that the ANF personnel had committed contempt of court by arresting him at the gates of the Supreme Court. The bench said Ali Musa was being granted bail as Textiles Minister Makhdoom Sahabuddin, a co-accused in the case, had also been given bail.

Talking to reporters outside the court, Ali Musa said even the ANF's chargesheet showed that he was not of the main accused in the case. The ANF's action of arresting him showed the organisation was acting in a mala fide manner, he said.

Ali Musa pointed out that the investigating officer in his case was also the main prosecution witness against him. Earlier, the Lahore High Court had denied Ali Musa pre-arrest bail in the ephedrine case on September 3.

Recently, the Supreme Court granted pre-arrest bail in the same case to Textiles Minister Shahabuddin till September 25.

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