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Court refuses to cancel warrant against Gilani son

Islamabad: A Pakistani court today rejected former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani`s son Ali Musa`s request for cancelling an arrest warrant issued for him in connection with alleged irregularities in the import of a controlled drug. The court of an additional district and sessions judge in Rawalpindi rejected Ali Musa`s application and kept intact an arrest warrant issued against him last week by a special anti-narcotics court.

The judge directed the Anti-Narcotics Force to continue its investigation and to arrest suspects involved in the case. The special court issued arrest warrants last week for Ali Musa and Makhdoom Shahabuddin, who was projected by the ruling Pakistan People`s Party as the replacement for Gilani following his disqualification by the Supreme Court. Shahabuddin dropped out of the prime ministerial race but was subsequently inducted as a federal minister.

He has obtained bail from the Peshawar High Court. Ali Musa, who was recently elected to the National Assembly or lower house of parliament, has been accused of influencing officials of the Health Ministry to allocate Ephedrine quotas of 9,000 kg to two pharmaceutical companies. Shahabuddin was the Health Minister when the allocations were made. Gilani has said his son was framed in a baseless case.

Gilani also accused army officials who lead the ANF of exceeding their powers in investigating the matter. During today`s proceedings in court, Ali Musa`s lawyer Abdul Aziz contended that his client had cooperated with investigators and that no evidence had emerged against him. He said charges were levelled against Ali Musa as an act of political revenge. However, ANF prosecutors told the judge they had found "solid evidence" against Ali Musa. They said they had sought a arrest warrant after he recently refused to cooperate with investigators.

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