Police officers and media persons gather as Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, the owner and editor-in-chief of Jang media group, publisher of Urdu and English newspapers which runs the popular Geo News TV, leaves after attending court proceedings in Lahore, Pakistan March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: An accountability court on Wednesday extended physical remand of the Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan’s biggest media house Jang and Geo TV Group, Mir Shakilur Rahman and handed him to country’s anti-graft agency National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for 14 more days i.e. until April 7.

Mir Shakil was arrested by NAB on March 12 on charges of illegal purchase of a piece of land some 34 years ago.

On Wednesday, the Accountability Court Judge Jawadul Hasan presided over the proceedings and heard the arguments made by the NAB prosecutor, who asked for further physical remand of the accused.

The counsel for Mir Shakil told the court his client was arrested at the investigation stage which was in blatant violation of the NAB laws.

Mir Shakil was taken into custody when he visited the NAB Lahore office to answer their questions and to present evidence of the transactions.

The NAB prosecutor informed the court that proper rules and procedures for the transfer of the land were not followed and the land was allotted to him at three different places.

The court asked the NAB why it needed further physical remand of the accused. "We have summoned the former DG LDA who will get back to us with a detailed answer after reviewing the documents pertaining to the allotment and transfer of land," the prosecutor said in reply.

The defence counsel however opposed the further remand request of the NAB saying it was the first time in the history of NAB that such a case was being heard. The NAB Chairman personally ordered the arrest of Mir Shakilur Rehman, he further said.

After hearing arguments of both parties in the case, the court decided to extend the physical remand of Mir Shakil till April 7.