An accountability court in Islamabad on Thursday rejected a petition filed by former president Asif Ali Zardari seeking acquittal under the National Accountability (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 in a reference to a dubious transaction worth Rs8 billion, a news outlet reported.
According to the report, Judge Syed Asghar Ali announced the judgment after listening to arguments from both sides on the admissibility of the petition.
During the hearing, Zardari personally appeared before the court and his lawyer Farooq H Naek requested the judge to take a decision on the acquittal plea of his client, saying that the transaction was a private matter and it did not fall in the jurisdiction of the new NAB ordinance. He pointed out that there there was no allegation of misuse of powers or receiving illegal money against his client in the reference.
However, the court dismissed the acquittal plea.
Last week, President Dr Arif Alvi had signed an ordinance to curtail the jurisdiction of the anti-corruption watchdog by excluding key government entities from the ambit of investigations and enabling the president to reappoint the agency’s chief or extend their tenure.
‘PPP TO FORM NEXT GOVT’:
Speaking to the press following the hearing, Zardari said his party would form the next government.
When a reporter asked him what is his opinion on the appointment of the new spymaster, he said the government is “incompetent”.
“Five drafts were prepared at the time of granting extension to Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa,” he recalled, saying he has no idea what decision the government would take on the issue.