Accountability court postpones Zardari's indictment in Park Lane case

Published: January 22, 2020
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PHOTO: AFP/File

PHOTO: AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The indictment of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and others in the Park Lane properties case, part of the fake accounts case, was postponed by an accountability court on Wednesday.

 

The Park Lane case has been registered under different sections of the National Accountability Ordinance 1999 and the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2010.

The PPP co-chairman has been accu­sed of being involved “in ext­end­ing loan and its misappropriation by M/s Parthenon Private Limited, M/s Park Lane Estate Private Limited and others”.

NAB has alleged that the national exchequer suffered a loss of Rs3.77 billion due to the irregularities. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s records indicates that Zardari and Bilawal are 50pc shareholders of Park Lane.

The fake bank accounts case involves alleged money laundering worth billions of rupees through 29 accounts, which were opened in three banks — Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Ltd.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had named Zardari, 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 2018.

The case was transferred in March 2019 from the banking court in Karachi to the accountability court of Rawalpindi for trial.

Fake accounts: Asif Ali Zardari to be indicted on Jan 22

Today’s proceedings

Talpur, Abdul Ghani Majeed and others were present in the courtroom while Zardari’s counsel submitted an exemption from personal appearance request.

Approving the request, accountability court Judge Azam Khan inquired why Majeed was not present on the day of indictments. His counsel informed the court that the former president was undergoing treatment at a Karachi hospital and presented medical reports to support the claim.

The accountability watchdog’s prosecutor requested the court to indict the suspects but defence counsel Farooq H Naek maintained that the suspects cannot be indicted on an interim reference.

Meanwhile, another suspect came forward as an approver against Zardari in the Park Lane case. The NAB prosecutor also submitted a report with details of approver Syed Hussain Faisal Jamot. At least three other individuals, Kiran Aman, Noreen Sultan and Aslam Masood have already come forth as approvers.

Postponing the indictment, the single bench directed the accountability watchdog to arrange an air ambulance for Majeed to attend the next hearing fixed for February 11.

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