Court indicts Zardari, others in Park Lane, Thatta water supply supplementary references

All accused plead not guilty


Our Correspondent October 05, 2020
ISLAMABAD:

An accountability court on Monday indicted former president Asif Ali Zardari in the Park Lane and Thatta water supply supplementary references.

The court also indicted 18 others accused in the Park Lane supplementary reference whereas 14 others were indicted in the Thatta water supply reference.

All indicted, including the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) co-chairman, pleaded not guilty, with proceedings to indict other accused still underway as the court had adjourned the indictment process over the absence of the accused on September 28.

Following the former president's denial of offences, the court directed National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to appear in the Park Lane supplementary reference on October 20 and in the Thatta water supply reference on October 21.

Witnesses Imran Mahmood, Ali Raza and Tariq Munir would be presented as witnesses in the Thatta Water Supply supplementary reference while Nabil Zahoor, Ahsan Aslam and Abdul Kabir would be presented as witnesses in the Park Lane Reference.

In the previous hearing, the accountability court also indicted Zardari's sister, Faryal Talpur, and others in the mega-money laundering reference pertaining to the fake accounts.

Out of the 69 witnesses in the reference, the court summoned three witnesses Ahsan Aslam, Zahoor Hussain and Muhamamd Atif at the next hearing and adjourned the hearing of the case until October 13.

Other accused who had been indicted include Khawaja Anwar Majeed, Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza, Arif Khan, Muhammad Umair, Mustafa Zulqarnain, Khawaja Suleman Younus, Imran Khan, Muhammad Aurangzeb, Bilal Sheikh and Adeel Shah.

Among the accused, Hussain Lawai and Taha Raza are under arrest while Khawaja Anwar Majeed was presented in the court through an online video call.

Earlier in September, the accountability court had rejected Zardari's plea seeking to quash three references related to the fake bank accounts case.

Through his counsel Farooq H Naek, Zardari had challenged the filing of the supplementary references in the ongoing cases of money laundering, Park Lane and Thatta Water Supply reference.

Zardari is facing multiple corruption cases that have stemmed from a mega money-laundering scandal, which came into the limelight in 2018.

The former president, Faryal and several of their business associates are being probed as part of a 2015 case regarding fake accounts and fictitious transactions — which were initially found to have totalled Rs35 billion — conducted through 29 ‘benami’ accounts.

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