–Banking court allows bail till Sept 25, as PPP co-chairman seeks exemption from appearance due to presidential poll
KARACHI: A banking court on Tuesday extended the interim bail of former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in a money laundering case till September 25.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had previously granted a protective bail to the former president on August 18 but had directed him to appear before the trial court before September 3.
Faryal Talpur, Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed and his three sons appeared before the court hearing the case pertaining to alleged money laundering of at least Rs35 billion through fake accounts.
During the hearing, the banking court accepted an application seeking an exemption for Zardari to appear in person and extended the interim bail till September 25.
Zardari’s legal counsel informed the court that the former president was busy in Islamabad due to presidential elections. The court accepted the exemption plea and the case has been adjourned till September 25.
Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur are being investigated as part of a corruption case relating to fake accounts and fictitious bank transactions worth Rs41.4 billion.
The siblings face allegations that they had illegally channelled funds through fake accounts in connivance with the CEOs of major banks.
The case had initially been registered in 2015 against former Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) chairman Hussain Lawai, who is widely believed to be close to Zardari.
Later, seven individuals, including Zardari and Talpur, were said to have been found involved in using those accounts for suspicious transactions which totalled Rs35 billion. The accounts were allegedly used to channel funds received through kickbacks.
Last month, Lawai and banker Taha Raza had been detained and booked for allegedly facilitating the opening of 29 ‘fake’ accounts through which suspicious transactions were made to different companies, including M/s Zardari Group.