An accountability court in Islamabad on Monday summoned former president Asif Ali Zardari and other co-accused in the money laundering reference on the next hearing scheduled for June 29.
The order was released by Judge Asghar Ali of the court and the prosecutor for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) also appeared before the court during the day's proceedings.
One of the NAB’s directors general submitted a 13-page statement in the Supreme Court in response to the plea. The statement maintained that the accountability courts in Islamabad had already indicted the PPP leader and that NAB was presenting witnesses before the courts without any delay.
NAB said the accused had already been exempted from personal appearance and a “mere convenience of accused persons cannot be termed a valid and cogent reason or grounds for transfer of references from Islamabad to Karachi”.
NAB, however, clarified it would have no objection if the court orders accountability courts to conclude the trials within a particular timeframe. "The defence counsel [may] also be directed not to seek any unnecessary adjournment during the trial proceedings,” it added.
Zardari is facing multiple corruption cases that stem from a mega-money laundering scandal, which came to the limelight in 2018.
In September, an accountability court in Islamabad indicted the former president, his sister Faryal Talpur and other accused in the case in which around Rs35 billion were transferred through 29 fake accounts.