A special court in Lahore has cleared Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Saturday of a drug smuggling charge that was brought against him in 2019.
The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Lahore team arrested Sanaullah on July 1, 2019, close to the Ravi Toll Plaza on the highway. He was traveling from Lahore to Faisalabad. Sanaullah’s driver and two security personnel were among the five people the ANF claimed to have arrested while also recovering 15kg of heroin from his car. The court placed him on judicial remand the following day.
Sanaullah was arrested for six months before being granted bail by the Lahore High Court (LHC) on December 24, 2019. The opposition was very critical of the previous PTI administration and claimed that it had engaged in a political witch hunt against competitors. However, the administration of Imran Khan denied any involvement in Sanaullah’s imprisonment.
The PML-N leader had requested an early hearing and entered a plea in court today, seeking acquittal. The hearing was subsequently set at 2 PM by the court.
Prosecutor Danish Mashkoor informed the court at the beginning of the hearing that he had quit and was no longer involved with the case. “I am unable to certify the witness statement.” The final two prosecutors then signed the document.
Advocate Farhad Shah, Rana Sanaullah’s lawyer, stated before the court that two of the case’s witnesses have since withdrawn their testimony. The defence informed the court that “they were witnesses of the recovery note” and added, “The prosecution has no case to prove.” The result was then made public, clearing Rana Sanaullah and the four defendants in the drug smuggling case, Sibtain, Usman, Amir, and Akram.
Witnesses Retract Statements
He has no knowledge of the events, and the recovery was not done in his presence, according to Inspector Ehsan Azam, a witness in the case.
“I didn’t see anyone get better. I was called as a witness, but I don’t know the details, nor do I in any way agree with the prosecution’s argument.”
Another witness, Assistant Director Imtiaz Ahmed, testified before the court that neither he nor the drugs were found in his presence were aware of Rana Sanaullah’s case.
“I was called as a witness in the case, but I disagree with the prosecution’s assertions. I did not observe any drug recovery.”