Pakistan: Investigator’s Suicide Questioned
Kamran Faisal, an investigator with the National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan (NAB) was found hanging from a ceiling fan in his government hostel on January 18th, according to the BBC. Faisal’s death has been ruled a suicide following an initial investigation by Pakistan police, but despite the ruling, influential political figures including Prime Minister hopeful Imran Khan have joined Faisal’s family in questioning the initial ruling, the BBC reported.
Faisal was serving as an assistant investigator in an NAB probe into Rental Power Projects (RPP) between 2006 and 2008, according to Dawn news. The probe’s targets include current Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, who was Minister for Water and Power at the time the disputed contracts were concluded. RPPs are plants that are installed quickly to meet short-term electricity needs..
Faisal’s death came three days after the Supreme Court ordered the arrest of 16 people, including the Prime Minister, in relation to the RPP scandal. None of those arrests have been made.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan ordered its own investigation into Faisal’s death on January 23rd, citing fears that “a free, fair and honest investigation” by the government would not be possible given the influence of senior political figures, according to the BBC.
The Supreme Court refused to comment, noting the investigation is ongoing.
Pakistani police have claimed that Faisal was mentally ill and suffering from a laundry list of afflictions that included schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, according to Geo News. Faisal’s family has vehemently denied claims of mental illness and said that Faisal was killed for his role in the investigation, claiming that his body bore “marks of torture,” the BBC reported.
On Tuesday, a Law Minister called for the exhumation of Faisal’s body, claiming that incomplete samples had been used in forensic testing and that the branches of the federal government had made conducting the investigation difficult, according to Geo News.