ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Monday extended the judicial remand of former president Asif Ali Zardari and Sindh lawmaker Faryal Talpur till September 5 in mega money laundering and fake accounts cases.
Accountability Court-I Judge Muhammad Bashir, who heard the case, directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to share the copies of the corruption references against the accused. NAB officials handed over the copies of references to the accused, pertaining to the Park Lane property and fake accounts.
At the outset of the hearing, NAB’s Deputy Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi apprised the judge that the anti-corruption watchdog had decided to file a supplementary reference against Zardari and Talpur in the money-laundering case in light of the new evidence found during investigation.
Zardari, also the co-chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), stood at the rostrum and pleaded that he was being mistreated in the jail. His counsel Latif Khosa requested the court that his client be provided with A-class facilities in prison, including air-conditioning, medical facilities and permission to meet his family.
Khosa contended that the former president was suffering from a number of health issues which could pose a threat to his life. The court will decide on the matter in the next hearing on September 5.
Talpur’s counsel Farouk H Naek also submitted a request to the judge seeking provision of extra facilities to his client. He pleaded that Talpur should be allowed to keep iPad in jail as she used to hear recitation of the Holy Quran.
Zardari was produced after his four-day judicial remand expired while his sister appeared after 10-day of judicial remand. Both accused had been shifted to Adiala Jail after ending of their physical remand time.
During a separate hearing on Monday, Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir extended the physical remand of former finance minister Miftah Ismail and former managing director of the PSO Sheikh Imranul Haq for further 11 days in LNG import agreement investigation.
At the outset of hearing, the NAB prosecutor updated the court on the progress in the investigation process. He prayed to the court to grant further physical remand of the accused. However, Ismail opposed the NAB request.
He adopted the stance that he had been confined to a small room in NAB custody. He was allowed a 30 minute walk in a day while the NAB officials visit him for just five minutes for investigation, he added. The court, however, extended the physical remand.
With input from APP