–Another accused turns approver in mega money laundering scandal involving former president
ISLAMABAD: An accountability court (AC) on Wednesday postponed the indictment of former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in the Park Lane and the money laundering references till February 11.
The court also directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to bring Omni Group’s head Anwar Majeed through air ambulance from Karachi and produce him before the court.
AC-II Judge Azam Khan conducted the hearing.
At the outset of the hearing, the judge asked the prosecution that where was Anwar Majeed, saying charges would be framed against the suspect at today’s hearing. Majeed’s lawyer, however, said that his client was in a Karachi hospital.
The NAB pleaded that it had written to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) headquarters for the provision of an air ambulance to produce the accused on the next date of hearing.
The NAB investigation officer said that non-bailable arrest warrants had been issued against the four accused who were hiding abroad. The prosecutor said that the department had filed a reference against the accused and prayed the judge to indict the accused.
Zardari’s counsel said that an indictment couldn’t be made in any interim reference in accordance with the law. The NAB prosecutor said that the investigation had been completed related to the people who had been nominated in reference. The reference was filed after the conclusion of the investigation, he argued.
Judge Azam Khan asked that if the charges would be framed again after the filing of a supplementary reference against the accused. The NAB officials further apprised the court that another accused Syed Hussain Faisal Jamot had become an approver in the case. Three other accused, including Kiran Aman, Noreen Sultan and Aslam Masood, had already become approvers.
Meanwhile, the court also accepted a one-day exemption from hearing of former president Asif Ali Zardari as his lawyer informed the judge that he couldn’t attend the proceeding due to illness. His counsel Farouk H. Naek pleaded that the NAB had not shared the copies of supplementary reference against the accused so far.
The court ordered the bureau to provide them the copies of reference.
To a question of the judge, NAB prosecutor said that the process of a plea bargain of accused Zain Malik was pending with the bureau and added the NAB had summoned the accused in this regard. The judge asked the NAB official to inform the court regarding plea bargain of Zain Malik by the next hearing.
The court adjourned hearing of the case till February 11.