The Accountability Court (AC) charged former president Asif Ali Zardari on Monday, his sister Faryal Talpur and other accused in additional references to the money laundering case.
The indictment comes at a trial of three references to corruption – fake bank accounts, Park Lane and Thatta water supplies – which continue today; it was led by AC Judge Azam Khan.
Former president Talpur and other defendants appeared before the court and pleaded not guilty.
However, Zardari’s attorney could not appear in court because of his commitment to the Supreme Court.
Among the accused were Mustafa Majeed, Salman Younis, Imran Khan, Muhammad Aurangzeb and Bilal Sheikh.
Copies of indictments were also provided to two of the prisoners who were imprisoned, Hussain Lawai and Taha Raza. The court also provided a copy of the indictment to defendant Muhammad Umair’s lawyer.
However, after several defendants were absent, the court postponed prosecution in reference to Park Lane and Thatta water supplies until October 5.
The court issued arrest warrants for all the absent defendants, including the Park Lane reference accused to Sher Ali and the Water supply reference Thatta accused Muhammad Siddiq Sulemani. The court ordered them to be arrested and brought to court on October 5.
The court adjourned trials for the massive money laundering case until October 13.
On September 23, the AC rejected the former president’s application for release against additional references and stated that “additional references can be made because there is no other way to submit the evidence during the trial before the court”.
The court’s written order says both the National Accountability Act (NAO) 1999 – the law that governs the NAB – and other laws in the country prohibit the chairman of the NAB from making additional references to suspects.
“Therefore, the court is of the view that the two objections raised by the defendant are advisory applicants to the cancellation of additional references.[s] There is no point.
Earlier today, Zardari filed plea at the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to overturn the money laundering and Park Lane trial references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
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