–Anwar Majeed asks SC to reconsider decision of ordering NAB to file references in Islamabad
— Accuses FIA of ‘stalling case on purpose’ by not presenting challan in banking court
ISLAMABAD: Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed on Wednesday submitted a petition in the Supreme Court seeking reconsideration of an earlier decision to transfer the fake accounts case to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Islamabad.
All allegations are connected with Karachi and all witnesses live there as well. The order for National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file the reference in Islamabad is illegal,” the petition said.
Majeed argued the case “is related to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), not NAB”, as he accused the FIA of stalling the case on purpose by not submitting challan in the banking court. Hence, he added, FIA should be asked to file a challan soon.
Claiming that the report submitted by the joint investigation team (JIT) was based on speculation as it gives the impression that “all money in the mentioned bank accounts was collected through crimes”. Any further investigations in the case will jeopardise the petitioner’s right to a fair trial, it argued.
Further, the petition stated that Majeed faces ill health and has submitted medical reports as evidence to substantiate the claim. It also alleged that the FIA had launched a media campaign against the petitioner as media was being provided details of the investigation’s progress.
Zardari and Talpur filed a similar petition with the SC seeking a review of its decision to send the fake bank accounts case to NAB on Jan 28, merely a week after NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal, in compliance with court orders, transferred the cases to Islamabad.
Zardari and Faryal in their petition had asserted that a JIT had been forced by SC on the request of FIA, and took issue that the accused “appeared before JIT, submitted written replies but the agency has not found any direct evidence against them”.
It had argued that the JIT report is “based on assumptions as it did not include our stance”. Further, it asserted that the JIT had recommended further probe into the case while the apex court agreed that there was the absence of “substantial evidence”.
The case was transferred from Karachi to Islamabad “without any reason” and “Zardari has been the target of political revenge throughout his life”, the petition had said.
The Supreme Court decision will affect the “fair trial” and the top court’s January 7 should be reviewed, they had pleaded.
On December 24, the JIT, formed on the apex court’s orders to probe into the alleged money-laundering case, presented its 128-page final report to the court which included recommendations for filing 16 NAB references.
The report had mentioned that 29 fake accounts were identified by the FIA which had laundered Rs42 billion, however, the team further discovered 11,500 bank accounts of 924 account holders, 59 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and 24,500 Cash Transactions Reports (CTRs). All of these details were scrutinized, besides the loan profile of 924 individuals.
The report further stated that the fake accounts were opened through the Omni Group, however, the accounts had been engaged with direct transactions with the Zardari Group, Bahria Town, Sindh government departments and certain contractors while the ultimate beneficiary of money laundering was Zardari’s family.