NAB grills Zardari in fake accounts inquiries

Published: May 16, 2019

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) at its headquarters in Rawalpindi on Thursday where his statements in three inquiries related to the fake accounts case — Harish & Company, suspicious transactions and the Opal 225 property — were recorded.

A combined investigation team of the anti-graft body headed by the NAB Rawalpindi director general recorded the former president’s statements for over one and a half hours.

He was questioned about the funds handed over to the Harish & Company for a water project allegedly used to meet the expenses of Naudero House.

He was grilled about suspicious transactions involving Rs8 billion.

The NAB team also asked him about the alleged payment of Rs1 billion for the Opal 225 property.

Talking to reporters, Zardari’s lawyer Farooq H Naek said his client had nothing to do with the Harish & Company and he was summoned by NAB even though his name was not even mentioned in its reference.

Speaking about the Park Lane Estate inquiry, Naek said Zardari was neither its director nor its shareholder.

“The Park Lane Estate mortgaged its own property and obtained a loan,” he added.

The lawyer maintained that Zardari was not even aware that the directors of the Park Lane Estate had mortgaged its property and came to know about it through the joint investigation team’s report.

In fact, he added, the former president had moved the court against the directors.

“This [implicating Zardari] is nothing but political victimisation.”

Naek said NAB had not handed over any questionnaire to his client.

“It’s easy to level allegations but difficult to prove them,” he remarked.

Speaking on the Opal 225 property, the lawyer said his client was neither a director nor a shareholder and the project was executed through a civil agreement.

He also said Zardari was falsely accused of receiving Rs30 million through a fake account.

NAB sources said the former president would be summoned again to record his statements in two other inquiries.

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