–Former president gets interim bail in six cases, including money laundering and fake accounts references
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has granted interim bail to former president Asif Ali Zardari in six corruption cases that are being probed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) besides extending his bail in Park Lane and fake accounts cases till June 12 and May 22.
According to reports, the high court granted him interim bail in the money laundering case until May 30 and while his bail against the surety bond of Rs 500,000 in Opal 225 property was approved till June 12.
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman, who is accused of taking vehicles from Tosha Khana and paying their import duties from fake accounts, was also granted interim bail in the case till June 20.
In a probe pertaining to suspicious transactions, Zardari’s interim bail was extended until May 21. In a probe pertaining to Harish and Company, the court adjourned the hearing until May 30.
Zardari has been summoned by NAB on May 16 in relation to the Haresh and Company case, which is a part of the ongoing investigation into the fake accounts and money laundering case.
The former president’s bail plea was taken up by a division bench, comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiani, heard the bail applications.
Meanwhile, Asif Ali Zardari said his party is planning to launch an organised movement against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government after Eidul Fitr. “The government is aware of our plans and this is why cases are being made,” he added.
“The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the economy cannot run together,” said the former president whiles speaking to reporters outside the high court.
In a comment on PTI’s amnesty scheme, the ex-president said it was no different than past schemes.
His son and party chairman, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, has also been summoned by NAB on Saturday in Park Lane case. Bilawal is the son of martyr [Benazir Bhutto] and will walk barefoot on hot embers, he said while referring to the case against him.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is investigating more than 30 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July 2018 in connection with the probe.
The former president’s other close aide and Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed a close aide and Omni Group chairman and his son, Abdul Ghani, were arrested by FIA in August 2018.
Several ‘benami’ accounts at multiple private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made, according to sources.
The amount, according to FIA sources, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.