The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has directed former president Asif Ali Zardari to appear before it on May 29 for questioning in cases pertaining to illegal awards of contracts.
It is the second time the bureau summoned the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman in the graft cases. According to reports, NAB officials will record Zardari’s statement during his appearance.
On Thursday, Zardari excused himself from appearing before the anti-graft body in the ongoing investigation into the fake bank accounts case owing to his “busy schedule”.
He wrote a letter to NAB, stating that he could not appear before the bureau due to his busy schedule, asking for another date for the hearing. The bureau had summoned him in an inquiry pertaining to illegal allotment of land by the Sindh government and misuse of powers.
On May 9, the NAB had summoned him to record his statement in the same case; however, the former president excused himself from appearing before the combined investigation team (CIT) of the Rawalpindi NAB, seeking another date on the grounds that he was scheduled to appear before the accountability court on the same day.
The NAB has already filed references in money laundering through fake bank accounts, Pink Residency and illegal award of water supply schemes against him.
Besides, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is also likely to appear before the accountability watchdog on May 29 to record his statement in the money laundering case as well as the Park Lane case.
The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July last year in connection with the probe.
The former president’s close aide and Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed and his son, Abdul Ghani, were arrested by FIA in August 2018.
Over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at some private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made, according to sources.