Thursday, October 29, 2020

Arrest warrants for Asif Ali Zardari issued

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The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has issued warrants for the arrest of former president Asif Ali Zardari in an Rs8 billion suspicious transaction case, an offshoot of the fake bank accounts scam.

The corruption watchdog issued warrants after approval of NAB chief Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal. The bureau submitted a written reply to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in a bail before arrest petition filed by the former president.

NAB stated in its reply that the PPP co-chairman is not entitled to bail and requested the court to dismiss his bail plea.

A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani will take up today Zardari’s petition seeking confirmation of his pre-arrest bail in the bank transaction case.

The court had granted pre-arrest interim bail to the former president in this case on June 18, 2019.

Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur have been facing multiple cases, based on a mega money-laundering scandal involving fictitious transactions worth Rs35 billion allegedly conducted through ‘benami’ bank accounts.

On September 28, Former Asif Ali Zardari, along with his sister Faryal Talpur, was indicted by the National Accountability Bureau in massive money laundering cases that have been pleaded as not guilty by the accused, reported Bol News.

Read more: Toshakhana case: Nawaz declared proclaimed offender, Zardari indicted

All three previous petitions submitted by Asif Zardari against the NAB references were dismissed by the accountability court.

Park Lane Company reference: National Bank presidents being interrogated

Zardari has been accused of buying 2,460 kanals of real estate in Islamabad facilitated by his operations in the Park Lane Company and his son chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has also been named in the case.

NAB holds that Zardari’s fake company was funded by loans he took out from the National Bank. Witnesses which include former National Bank presidents have been questioned regarding the case and statements have also been recorded.

Read more: All cases against PML-N are false, if corruption is found I should be hanged: Shehbaz Sharif

Asif Zardari was previously released on medical grounds last year after an accountability court in the capital issued mandamuses in the money laundering cases. NAB is undertaking further investigations after the Supreme Court’s (SC) verdict in the money laundering cases to further investigate in line with the joint investigation team (JIT) report.

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