KARACHI: The interim bail of former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and other accused in the fake accounts case was extended till September 25 by a banking court on Tuesday.
Talpur, Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed and his three sons appeared before the court hearing the case pertaining to alleged money laundering of at least Rs35 billion through fake accounts.
During the hearing, Zardari’s lawyer said he could not appear in court as he was in Islamabad for the presidential elections.
The banking court accepted an application submitted by Zardari’s lawyer seeking an exemption for Zardari to appear in person and extended the interim bail till September 25.
The court had granted the PPP co-chairperson’s interim bail against a surety bond of Rs2 million on August 31. Previously, he had obtained protective bail from the Islamabad High Court and had been instructed to appear before the trial court by September 3.
Zardari and Talpur are under investigation by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for alleged money laundering through at least 29 fake accounts, along with former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairperson Hussain Lawai and Summit Bank Senior Vice-President Taha Raza. A seven-member JIT led by FIA Additional Director General Najaf Mirza is carrying out the investigation.
The Supreme Court (SC) had earlier issued directives in the suo motu case and had instructed relevant authorities to investigate the matter.
Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani’s medical reports were also presented in the court by the jail authorities, which said that both accused were under treatment at a hospital. The court inquired on how the accused were shifted to a hospital without the court’s permission.
The banking court accepted Abdul Ghani and Abdul Majeed’s plea for exemption to appear and reserved its verdict on Lawai’s plea for B-class.
Interim challan challenged
Meanwhile, Abdul Ghani requested a banking court to annul the interim challan in the case and conclude trial on an immediate basis.
In a petition submitted by Abdul Ghani, it was alleged that FIA did not complete legal procedures before submitting case’s interim bail.
The FIR doesn’t prove any crime and all the facts are before the court, the petition stated, adding that FIA kept Abdul Ghani in custody without evidence and assaulted him during interrogation.
According to the petition, Abdul Ghani’s name was put on the Exit Control List without any proof. His name was registered in the FIR on the basis of suspicion without any clear evidence, hence the interim challan of the case should be annulled, the petition read.
It was argued that illegal action by FIA has caused irreparable damage to his credibility. According to Abdul Ghani, he was treated harshly during remand.