–Former president won’t appear before top court
LAHORE: The money laundering case against various individuals, including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, will be heard at the Supreme Court on Monday.
However, the former president reportedly won’t appear before the top court.
On Friday, Zardari and Talpur’s interim pre-arrest bail was extended till January 7, 2019, by a banking court in Karachi.
Advocates Sardar Latif Khosa and Farooq H Naek will represent the former president before a three-member bench of the apex court chaired by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising of Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal and Justice Ijazul Ahsan.
Zardari’s legal counsels will be given a Joint Investigative Team (JIT) report by the bench at the Lahore Registry of the apex court.
Khosa expressed uncertainty about what will happen during the proceedings on Monday but added that in accordance with regular procedure, they would be given the JIT report and the court will set a date for the next hearing.
According to the JIT, Rs220 billion were allegedly laundered via fake accounts by approximately 415 individuals and 172 entities. The report also recommended legal action against them.
According to the JIT report, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), banking courts and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) could further investigate the issue or the top court could use the JIT’s findings to decide on the case.
Further, the JIT report discovered a domestic worker of Zardari, identified as Mushtaq Ahmed, holding an estimated sum of Rs8.1 billion in his bank accounts.
MONEY LAUNDERING CASE:
The case was initially registered in 2015 against former Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) chairman Hussain Lawai, who is widely believed to be close to former president Zardari.
In July, Lawai was arrested in connection with the probe along with Anwar Majeed, and his son, Abdul Ghani Majeed, were also arrested by the FIA. Lawai, Majeed and his son remain under custody for interrogation.
Investigations so far have revealed that several ‘benami’ accounts at some private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made.
The amount, according to the FIA, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.