A banking court in Karachi granted former president Asif Ali Zardari bail in the Sindh money laundering case on Friday.
The court also ordered the PPP co-chairperson to submit Rs2 million as a surety.
The former president’s counsel said that his client is ready to face trial.
On August 17, the court had issued an arrest warrant for Zardari after the FIA declared him and 20 other suspects absconders in the case.
He is being investigated in a money laundering case involving Rs35 billion funneled through fake bank accounts at three local banks.
Zardari’s counsel Farooq H Naek said that in the FIRs lodged in the case, his client was not declared a suspect. “The only allegation made against Zardari in the FIRs is that a sum of Rs15 million was transferred from A-One International’s account to the Zardari Group Pvt Ltd’s account,” he said.
“However, when the FIA filed the interim charge-sheet, it mentioned the name of the former president as an absconding accused,” said Naek, adding that “when everyone knew that he was in Nawabshah and contesting the elections, it is beyond my comprehension that how FIA declared him an absconder.” This shows the FIA’s mala fide intentions and ulterior motives, he added.
The lawyer also said that the Anti-Money Laundering Act does not come under the banking court’s jurisdiction. He said that neither the FIR nor the interim charge-sheet mention that Zardari was involved in money laundering.
Terming the FIR and charge-sheet ‘baseless’, Naek said, “The former president’s name has been included just to defame and harass him.”