'Zardari has presidential immunity', NAB tells court in Thatta water supply case

Accountability court adjourns hearing till May 21

Our Correspondent April 22, 2024


The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) submitted a report to an accountability court on Monday informing it that President Asif Ali Zardari has presidential Immunity under Article 248 of the Constitution.

The court was hearing the Thatta water supply reference.

President Zardari’s counsel Arshad Tabriz informed the court that a plea regarding the immunity was filed earlier, and NAB was supposed to respond today.

The court adjourned the hearing on the case till May 21.

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During the last hearing, Zardari’s counsel maintained that his client enjoyed presidential immunity, therefore, proceedings against him could not be carried out.

The court issued notice to NAB seeking its arguments on the matter and adjourned the hearing of the case till today.

The water supply reference pertains to the special initiative department allegedly illegally awarding the Thatta water supply scheme contract to a private contractor.

The accused in the case include former secretary Ejaz Ahmed Khan, Ali Akbar, Ejaz Memon, Ali Akbar Abro, Khawaja Abdul Ghani Majeed, Manahal Majeed, Abdul Nadeem Bhutto, and others.

In January 2023, an accountability court returned a corruption reference against Zardari after amendments to NAB law.

Zardari had earlier also invoked presidential immunity in the Park Lane reference case.
The Park Lane case accused Zardari of influencing relevant authorities during his tenure as the president – from 2008 to 2013 – to obtain loans for his front companies.

Zardari allegedly received a loan of Rs1.5 billion released for Parthenon Private Limited “with ill intention”, and the money was allegedly later transferred for his personal use through fake bank accounts.

The anti-graft buster accused him of causing a loss of Rs3.77 billion to the national exchequer.


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