Fake accounts case: NAB summons Zardari again

PPP leader told to appear before graft buster on May 16


Our Correspondent May 13, 2019
PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. PHOTO: File

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has summoned Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari again on May 16 in connection with its investigation into the illegal awarding of a water supply contract by the Sindh government to a private company.

NAB sources said on Sunday that the former president was summoned on May 9 but he had excused himself from appearing before the ant-corruption watchdog. Zardari sought a period of 15 days from the graft buster but his request was turned down.

NAB Rawalpindi has filed reference against a number of people in their investigation against public-office holders and others regarding the illegal awarding of a contract by the Sindh government’s special initiative department to Harish & Company.

The case is part of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the anti-graft watchdog. The Supreme Court forwarded a joint investigation team (JIT) report in the fake accounts scandal to NAB and directed it to probe money laundering of billions of rupees through fictitious bank accounts.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) named Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed, his sons and over 10 others as suspects in an interim charge sheet filed in a banking court in August last year.

Last month, NAB filed its first interim reference in the fake bank accounts case, nominating nine accused for misuse of authority and illegal allotment of amenity plots in Karachi.

The anti-corruption watchdog’s prosecutors submitted the reference to an accountability court in Islamabad. The accused included eight senior government officials and director of a private company

In March, NAB summoned Bilawal and Zardari in a case alleging illegal transfer of forest land to Pak Lane Estate Company (pvt) Ltd.

NAB claimed that the company was illegally acquired by the former president through a front man, Iqbal Memon, in 1989. Twenty years later, Zardari and Bilawal became shareholders of the company.

Maintaining that the notice was politically-motivated, the PPP said its top leadership would appear and respond to verbal and written questions. The bureau reportedly prepared a draft of 100 questions. Zardari and Bilawal’s statement was recorded in the presence of two joint-investigation teams.

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