Pakistan

Fake accounts case: Zardari and others adjourned till April 29

An accountability court in Islamabad adjourned until April 29 the hearing of the fake bank accounts case against former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and others.
The PPP co-chairman and his sister appeared before the accountability court amid tight security.
Special security arrangements were made within and around the Judicial Complex housing the NAB court to avoid any untoward incident.
At the outset of the hearing, NAB prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi informed Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik that NAB had received an application from two of the suspects – Kiran Aman and Noreen Sultan, employees of a private bank, seeking to become approver in the case. He added the bureau is proceeding with the plea as per law.
He said no decision has been taken with regard to the application yet.
In the previous hearing, Kiran Aman and Noreen Sultan had informed the court that they were willing to testify as witnesses and had also submitted a request in this regard with the NAB chairman. They said instead of listing them as witness the bureau had implicated them as accused.
Over the course of the hearing today, the judge expressed displeasure over the absence of two of the accused – Azam Wazir Khan and Nasir – and issued bailable warrants for their arrest. It also issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of suspect Adnan Javed and directed the bureau to arrest and produce him before it on next hearing.
The judge summoned the death certificate of suspect Iqbal Arain who according to NAB’s investigation officer had died.
Meanwhile, the investigation officer sought more time to prepare a paper book of the case.
The court issued a notice to the Sindh chief secretary to ensure presence of the suspects incarcerated in Karachi jails before the court on the next hearing.
Zardari, his sister and other accused are facing charges of laundering more than Rs35 billion through fake bank accounts. Zardari’s close aides Hussain Lawai and Anwar Majeed have also been nominated in the scam. They both are in judicial custody.
Last month, a banking court in Karachi transferred the money laundering case against the former president, his sister and others to Rawalpindi on a request by NAB.
The court also cancelled the interim bail of the 19 suspects, including the PPP leaders in the case.
The court directed the authorities to return surety amount to the suspects.
Earlier, on March 28, an Islamabad High Court (IHC) bench, comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, had approved pre-arrest bail for the PPP co-chairman and his sister against a surety of Rs1 million each.