ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Friday directed to indict Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari in Park Lane reference on August 10.
While announcing the reserved verdict, the court rejected Zardari’s request for withdrawal of plea seeking acquittal and dismissal of the case. The former president’s petition challenging jurisdiction of the court to hear this matter was also rejected.
Earlier during the hearing, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) asked to dispose of PPP leader’s petition and indict him in the corruption reference.
NAB deputy prosecutor further said that the plea could not be withdrawn after completion of arguments. The accused were trying to delay the proceedings of the case, he added.
Meanwhile, the accountability judge assured to wrap the reference as per law.
In December 2019, former president was released on medical grounds after an accountability court in Islamabad issued separate robkars [mandamuses] in the Park Lane Estate Company and the money laundering through fake bank accounts cases against him.
The charges in the latest case centre around allegations that Zardari laundered vast sums of money through suspect bank accounts and companies.
NAB is conducting investigations in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s (SC) verdict in the money laundering of billions through fake accounts case wherein it forwarded the joint investigation team (JIT) report with directions to investigate and file references.
Zardari has repeatedly dismissed allegations he had a hand in the scheme. Never popular and always shrouded in controversy, Zardari — who was once jailed for 11 years for corruption — stepped down from the president s office in 2013. But he has continued to serve as co-chairman of the opposition PPP.