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World Asia 11 Jun 2019 Pakistan ex-Prez hel ...

Pakistan ex-Prez held in fake a/cs case

COLUMNIST | SHAFQAT ALI
Published Jun 11, 2019, 5:33 am IST
Updated Jun 11, 2019, 5:49 am IST
The prosecutor argued that Mr Zardari’s bail application was inadmissible for hearing.
Former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari
 Former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari

Islamabad: Former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday surrendered himself to a team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected Mr Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur's pre-arrest bail plea in the money laundering case.

Following the refusal of his pre-arrest bail, a team of NAB accompanied by police personnel had reached the residence of the Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) co-chairman in order to arrest him.

 

He was taken to anti-graft watchdog's office in Rawalpindi where he would be interrogated in detail.

Earlier, the IHC had rejected the permanent bail application filed by the former president and his sibling Faryal Talpur in the mega money laundering case.

Subsequently, the court had allowed the NAB to arrest both PPP leaders.

A two-member division bench comprising Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani and Justice Aamer Farooq presided over the hearing. In this regard, the court had sought complete record pertaining to the money laundering accusations against the PPP leaders from the NAB.

As the hearing resumed, NAB prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana pleaded with the court for 20 minutes to give arguments in the case.

To which, the bench stated: “You have already presented your arguments, while this is hearing for a bail and not an appeal against conviction.”

The NAB prosecutor responded that 29 fake bank accounts were traced, according to the First Information Report (FIR) lodged in the case, and transactions of Rs 4.5 billion were uncovered, and billions of rupees were transferred from A1 International and Umair Associates.

He further disclosed that the Zardari Group and the Parthenon Private Limited had conducted transactions with the accounts, and said this was a detail of only one account from the total 29.

The prosecutor argued that Mr Zardari’s bail application was inadmissible for hearing.

 In this regard, the court had sought complete record pertaining to the money laundering accusations against the PPP leaders from NAB.

Importantly, the NAB had sought the court’s permission to arrest Mr Zardari and his sibling. The bureau has already issued arrest warrants for the PPP co-chairman in the money laundering case.

Farooq H. Naek, the defense counsel of the PPP leaders, while responding to the arguments of the prosecutor in the court stated that the chairman of the bureau does not have an authority to issue arrest warrants, and in this case he had issued arrest warrants.

The court reserved its judgment over the matter, and later announced it while rejecting the bail application of both PPP leaders who left the premises of the court without hearing the ruling.

PPP chief  Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, meanwhile, appealed supporters to remain peaceful after Mr Zardari’s arrest. “We will announce action in light of court’s detailed decision,” he said

“Important decisions will also take place in the meeting of central executive committee later,” he added.

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