Court acquits Pakistan’s interior minister in drug case
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A special court for narcotics cases in Pakistan on Saturday acquitted the country’s interior minister of drug smuggling charges, a defense lawyer said, in a case filed against him during the previous administration.
Rana Sanaullah, who also previously served as law minister for Punjab province, was arrested in July 2019 by federal anti-narcotics forces near the eastern city of Lahore.
The anti-drug body said at the time it also arrested five others, including Sanaullah’s driver and guards working for Sanaullah, and seized 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of heroin from the vehicle.
Sanaullah spent nearly six months in prison until the Lahore High Court ordered his release on bail after ruling that no substantial evidence was ever presented to the court.
In Sanaullah’s petition to the court for acquittal he blamed the former government of Imran Khan for victimizing him on political grounds, said Farhad Ali Shah, Sanaullah’s attorney.
In a hearing Saturday before Judge Shaikh Naeem, two prosecution witnesses said they never saw any narcotics recovered from Sanaullah’s vehicle.
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