IHC grants Zardari, bail till May 22 in Fake accounts case

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IHC grants Zardari, bail till May 22 in Fake accounts case
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday granted bail to Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari in two call-up notices regarding to money laundering through fake accounts.

PPP’s top leadership, Omni Group’s Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed, former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairperson Hussain Lawai, Summit Bank Senior Vice-President Taha Raza are among those being investigated in cases related to money laundering through fictitious bank accounts. The matter is also being heard by the Supreme Court.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Mohsin Kiyani and Justice Amir Farooq granted interim bail to the former president till May 22 against surety bonds of Rs0.5 million each. It also approved extension pleas filed by Zardari and sister Faryal Talpur.

During the hearing, Advocate Farooq H Naek lamented that his clients kept receiving call-up notices.

A total of nine applications were filed by the PPP counsel – seven by Zardari and two by Talpur. Five out of the seven petitions filed by Zardari sought extension in pre-arrest bails while the other two were on new call-up notices. Both of Talpur’s applications sought extension in pre-arrest bail.

The bench’s decision in extension pleas:

May 29 in M/S Harish & Company case

June 12 in Park Lane Company case

Observing the increasing number of cases, Justice Farooq directed authorities to furnish a list in chronological order.

When asked to give a time-frame for replies on bail requests, NAB prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Ahmad Khan said the anti-graft watchdog will provide written reply only in inquiries it deemed merited arrest warrants.

The anti-graft watchdog is conducting investigations in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the fake accounts case wherein it forwarded the joint investigation team (JIT) report with directions to investigate and file references.

Since a banking court in Karachi accepted NAB’s request to transfer the money laundering case to Islamabad, Zardari has received pre-arrest bail in five call-up notices while Talpur has received in two.

On May 14, the anti-corruption unit furnished details of inquiries, investigations and references in the fake accounts case. In the report, NAB listed down at least eight cases where Zardari’s link had been established. It further added that 22 inquiries and three investigations are underway while three references have been filed.