Fake accounts case: Omni Group rejects JIT allegations

PPP legal wing deliberating strategy to contest case

​ Hasnaat Malik December 30, 2018
Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The Omni Group, whose owners are among the key accused in a case of multi-billion rupees alleged money laundering, has completely rejected the damning report submitted to the Supreme Court by a joint investigation team (JIT) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

In compliance with the SC’s December 24 order, Omni Groups owners – Anver Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed – on Saturday filed a two-page reply through their counsel Shahid Hamid and Ayesha Hamid, saying that any stamp of approval given by the court to the JIT report in the manner sought by it would be violative of inter alia the applicants’ guaranteed fundamental rights under Article 10-A of the Constitution.

The reply said they rejected each and every allegation made in the JIT report and its executive summary. It said there was no lawful basis for the JIT request (para 300) that the allegations against the applicants (Omni group owners) be referred to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

“It is respectfully prayed that the JIT report be rejected,” said the reply. The JIT had asked the SC to pass appropriate directives to NAB to take cognisance of 16 cases of mega-corruption the report had unearthed.

Sources said the Zardari Group has yet to submit a reply to the JIT report. Zardari Group is owned by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, who along with a number of party leaders, including Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, is also accused by the JIT report of money laundering.

Damning JIT report indicts Zardari, Omni groups

The PPP legal wing is deliberating a strategy to contest the case. Instead of giving response to factual queries, the PPP team has decided to raise legal questions on the JIT report.

A senior PPP lawyer believes that the leadership is facing two challenges; firstly, to secure PPP Chairman Bilawal from NAB proceedings; and secondly, to save Zardari and his sister, Faryal Talpur, from disqualification under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution.

The JIT in its report also accused Zardari of not disclosing his assets in his nomination papers. The party is also considering the option to engage another counsel to defend Bilawal. The FIA has already hired the service of renowned lawyer Faisal Siddiqi to defend the JIT report tomorrow (December 31) before the SC.


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