x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

UAE court sets date for Tauqir Sadiq extradition ruling

The Federal Appeals Court will decide if the former head of Pakistan's oil and gas regulator should be extradited or not on June 3.

ABU DHABI // A UAE court will rule on June 3 whether the former head of Pakistan's oil and gas regulator should be extradited.

Tauqir Sadiq was arrested in the UAE on December 29 after fleeing Pakistan, where he is accused of embezzling more than Dh3 billion. He entered the Emirates on a baker's visa, but was tracked down following an Interpol notice.

The Federal Appeals Court will decide whether he should be extradited following a request by the Pakistani government.

Mr Sadiq was asked to submit his defence during a private hearing in the judge's office this morning.

He is accused of taking kickbacks during his time as head of Pakistan's Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority between 2009 and 2011.

The allegations made against Mr Sadiq could also lead to a criminal case against the former Pakistani prime minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf.

Mr Ashraf was water and power minister at the time of the alleged embezzlement. Mr Sadiq fled Pakistan a year ago.

On January 24 Pakistan's Supreme Court registered a case against Mr Ashraf, the country's former interior minister Rehman Malik, and another senior member of the Pakistan People's Party over Mr Sadiq's appointment in 2009 and his absconding.

The court has also ordered Mr Ashraf's arrest over another corruption investigation from his tenure as water and power minister.

Members of Pakistan's government, however, have accused judges of a witch hunt against the administration, which in March this year became the first elected civilian government in Pakistan to complete a full term in office.