Hearing in money laundering reference adjourned till October 22
An accountability court rejected a petition on Thursday filed by former president Asif Ali Zardari seeking his acquittal under the new NAB Ordinance in a reference to a dubious transaction worth Rs8 billion.
AC-III Judge Syed Asghar Ali announced the judgment after listening to arguments from both sides on the admissibility of the petition.
Asif Ali Zardari personally appeared before the court.
During the proceeding, his lawyer Farooq H Naek requested the judge to take a decision on the acquittal plea of his client.
He adopted the stance that the transaction was a private matter and it did not fall in the jurisdiction of the new NAB Ordinance.
Pointing out that there there was no allegation of misuse of powers or receiving illegal money against his client in the reference. He requested the court to seek comments from the National Accountability Bureau or NAB on acquittal pleas.
After listening to arguments from respondents, the court dismissed the acquittal plea.
Meanwhile, AC-II Judge Muhammad Azam Khan adjourned the hearing till October 22 in mega-money laundering reference against Asif Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and others.
The court granted a one-day exemption from hearing to Faryal Talpur and Hussain Lawai. The defence lawyer requested the court to grant time for cross-examination with the prosecution witness which was allowed by the judge.
On Saturday, the court issued a written order in the case. “The pleas raised by the learned counsel for petitioner are not in consonance in cases wherein a public office holder is under the NAO amended ordinance 2021.”
It ruled that the former president illegally gained and acquired property in Karachi’s Clifton Block 4 with a disproportionate amount along with his trustee Mushtaq Ahmed and close associate Zain Malik.
The reference, investigation report, and other documents in the case are sufficient to proceed with the trial, the court added dismissing Zardari’s plea.
This was the fifth corruption case filed against Asif Ali Zardari by NAB on June 19.
The reference accused the PPP co-chairperson of carrying out transactions using fake accounts. His aide Mushtaq Ahmed, the former stenographer at Aiwan-e-Sadr reportedly deposited Rs8 billion in a fake account after signing a deal with a housing society. The money, which had no trail, was then used by Zardari to reportedly buy properties in Karachi, including his house in Clifton.