A Pakistani official who was investigating corruption charges related to a case against Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf was found dead Friday.
Kamran Faisal, an assistant director with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigative agency, allegedly died after hanging himself from a ceiling fan in his room in a government hostel in Islamabad. He was investigating cases related to the Rental Power Plants scandal.
Based on their preliminary investigation, Islamabad police said that his death was a suicide, but there is speculation that he may have been murdered. Faisal’s father told a television station that his son would never kill himself because he had “strong nerves,” reported The Guardian.
To add to the speculation, more than 20 NAB officials from Punjab told the Tribune they believed that he was murdered and that his death was framed as a suicide. The roof window of his room was open when police arrived.
Faisal, a father of three, was said to be under extreme pressure while investigating the case, according to the Tribune. Police said that his body was taken as part of an investigation to determine the exact cause of death.
The rental power scandal involved contracts that were issued by the Pakistani government in 2009 to buy electricity from power plants, aimed at alleviating the country’s energy shortage. However, it drew a lot of criticism for being allegedly rife with corruption and too costly.
The Supreme Court issued a arrest warrant for Prime Minister Ashraf’s earlier this week. Ashraf was allegedly involved in taking illegal kickbacks from the rental power program while he was Pakistan’s water and power minister. The court also issued arrest warrants for 15 other people involved in the case.
Faisal had played a considerable role in Ashraf’s case, one of his colleagues told the BBC, adding that he was taken off the case by the NAB earlier this month. A neighbor also told the broadcaster that he appeared to be very depressed and said he requested a transfer from the case.
Zafar Qureshi, a former official with the Federal Investigation Bureau, told the Guardian that while he investigated government ministries, he also experienced great pressure and received threats.
“Speaking frankly, I was under a lot of stress,” he said. “I was under a lot of pressure. I received … threatening calls from government officials and ministers.”