Former president Asif Ali Zardari has approached the Supreme Court requesting the transfer graft cases against him from Islamabad to Karachi.
The apex court while hearing a suo motu case related to fake accounts had ordered to conduct trial of the accused persons in Islamabad. Even the court had rejected review petitions against its order.
Zardari through his counsel Farooq H Naek moved an application seeking transfer of cases against him from the federal capital to Karachi due to health reasons.
The application stated that throughout the course of history, the former president had been made to suffer on account of political victimisation and mudslinging by involving him in false and fabricated cases.
"The petitioner has time and again been made the target of political vendetta and vengeance. He has seen the rigours of jail numerous times in false and politically motivated cases for accumulative period of about eleven years and has done so having faith in the
independence of judiciary and the justice system of Pakistan. It is pertinent to mention here that he was acquitted in all the fabricated and concocted cases made against him."
The application further stated that Zardari was suffering from various ailments and had been seriously ill.
“He is about 65 years of age and is a chronic patient suffering from various ailments including but not limited to cardiovascular disease insofar as he has three stents in his heart, he also suffers from ischemic heart disease, high blood pressure, sensory peripheral and autonomic neuropathy, he is hypoglycemic (having unstable low blood sugar) and has diabetes, and Holter Monitor is attached in his arm.
“Moreover, the petitioner also has lumber and cervical spondylosis (spine disease). The applicant further suffers from arthritis and his platelet count is not stable. This is substantiated from certificates and report of medical board formed by Islamabad High Court. Despite the fact that all the accused persons, witnesses and documents are from
Karachi and the subject matter of the said reference is related to Sindh province,” said the application.
It was also stated that there was evidence of substantial prejudice to the
applicant as well as witnesses if the references were not transferred.
Karachi (Sindh) would not handicap the state/NAB and would rather mitigate the serious difficulties of the applicant to have a fair and impartial trial in a more congenial atmosphere, the application said.
The PPP co-chairperson is facing multiple corruption cases that stemmed from a mega money laundering scandal, which came to the fore in 2018.
Zardi, his sister Faryal Talpur 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 amounted Rs35 billion — conducted through 29 “benami” accounts.