Islamabad, April 21 (IANS) A special anti-narcotics court on Friday indicted former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's son Ali Musa and 10 others in an ephedrine scandal which rocked the Pakistan's Peoples Party (PPP) government in 2011.
The case involves two Pakistani pharmaceutical companies, Berlex and Danas, that allegedly used political connections to obtain huge amounts of controlled substance ephedrine and were suspected of diverting it to people in the drug trade, Dawn reported.
Gilani's son is accused of involvement in illegal allotment of ephedrine. The other accused in the case include former Health Minister Makhdum Shahabuddin, Health Ministry official Abdul Sattar and Dr Abdul Khaliq.
Despite the accused maintaining their innocence, the judge formally charged the high-profile suspects of culpability in the ephedrine scandal.
The next hearing has been scheduled for May 12, in which the accused are expected to present their arguments, said the report.
Former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry had said in early 2012 that Ali Musa Gilani was also a suspect in the case.
In April 2012, the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) had submitted a 23-page report before the court naming Ali Musa Gilani and others for the alleged allocation of 6,500 kg ephedrine to Berlex Lab International in Multan and 2,500 kg to Danas Pharma (Pvt) Ltd, Islamabad from 2010 to 2011.
Ephedrine is one of the main ingredients in methamphetamine, a scheduled narcotic substance. It is said to be more valuable and addictive than heroin.