Zardari’s lawyers to appear before SC in fake accounts case

Zardari’s lawyers to appear before SC in fake accounts case
On Friday, a banking court extended the interim bail for Asif Ali Zardari and his sister, Faryal Talpur, until January 7 in the ongoing money laundering case. (AFP/File)
Updated 24 December 2018

Zardari’s lawyers to appear before SC in fake accounts case

Zardari’s lawyers to appear before SC in fake accounts case
  • Top court expected to hand over investigation’s findings to former president’s legal team
  • PPP official says move part of PM Khan’s plan to run an opposition-free government

LAHORE: Former President Asif Ali Zardari’s lawyers were expected to appear before the Supreme Court on Monday as part of a fake account and money laundering case.
Legal counsels Farooq H Naik and Sardar Lateef Khosa will testify before a three-judge bench — representing the apex court’s Lahore registry – headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, on behalf of Zardari who is also the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Co-Chairperson.
On Sunday, advocate Khosa said that while he couldn’t comment on what is expected to happen but, based on standard operating procedure, the court will hand over the Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) report and set the next hearing date.
On Friday, a banking court extended the interim bail for Zardari and his sister, Faryal Talpur, until January 7 in the ongoing money laundering case.
Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) said it is questioning 32 people for money laundering from fictitious accounts. These including Zardari, Talpur, Omni group’s owners, and Summit Bank vice chairman Hussain Lawai. In July this year, Lawai was arrested in connection with the probe.
Omni Group’s chairman, Anwar Majeed — another close aide of Zardari — and his son, Abdul Ghani were arrested by the FIA in August.
The JIT is investigating the fake accounts as part of a legal course of action against approximately 415 key individuals and 172 entities allegedly involved in transactions of approximately Rs220 billion via 104 fake accounts. The case started after multiple unidentified accounts were opened at private banks wherefrom transactions worth billions of rupees were made.
PPP Deputy Information Secretary, Chaudhry Munawar Anjum, said that the PPP has always respected and strengthened the judiciary and believed that they were being framed in politically-motivated cases.
“Former president Asif Ali Zardari faced 17 cases in the past and was acquitted by the courts,” he said, adding that the “PPP believes that the JIT report has been fabricated under the political influence to victimize its leaders. If the report is fabricated, we will go to the people”.
Anjum added that Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to eliminate the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to run an opposition-free government, turn the country into one unit, and impose civil martial law. “We always fight against non-democratic forces and will continue to do so,” he said.