NAB ARRESTS ZARDARI: Islamabad High Court Has Turned Down Asif Zardari, Faryal Talpur’s Bail Plea In Fake Accounts Case
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has rejected a petition seeking extension in the bail period of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. IHC has allowed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to arrest them in the fake accounts case.
A NAB team is on its way to the parliament house to arrest the former President and his sister.
Earlier, the court also reserved its verdict after the anti-corruption prosecutor completed his arguments.
Case Against Zardari and Talpur
The case against Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur relates to a transaction of Rs. 150 million to the PPP leaders’ private company through alleged fake bank accounts.
The PPP co-chairman, who appeared before the court amid strict security measures, was accompanied by his daughter Aseefa Bhutto.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Additional Prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana assisted the two-member bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani.
Party workers gathered close to the court premises as prisoner vans were also brought to the site.
Protests Planned In Support of Zardari And Talpur
PPP workers in Punjab have already planned protests in case the former president is arrested. The party has planned blockade of all major roads of the provincial capital by arranging workers’ protests.
Senior party leader Faisal Mir said that if Prime Minister Imran Khan managed to get Zardari arrested through the corruption watchdog, “he would be laying the foundation for the removal of his own government”.
Fake Accounts Saga
In December 2015, the FIA began a discreet investigation into certain bank accounts through which multi-billion rupee transactions were made.
According to FIA sources, information regarding the fake accounts came to the fore when an intelligence agency picked up a prominent money changer in an unrelated case.
As the monitoring and investigation of these suspicious accounts continued, it surfaced that five of these accounts in two banks – the Sindh Bank and Summit Bank – had been used for transactions worth around Rs. 15 billion.
Investigation showed the accounts were operated by fake companies. Funds were credited into these accounts from contractors with multi-billion rupee contracts with the Sindh government.
The money was found to have been transferred to accounts of companies owned and operated by the Omni Group, whose chairperson, Anwar Majeed, is a close aide of Zardari. Another beneficiary was Nasir Lootah, the chairperson of Summit Bank.
In all, 29 accounts were identified that received payments, totaling at least Rs. 35 billion.
Meanwhile, Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur have appeared before the investigators and had since secured interim bail from the banking court.
The last hearing of the case was on December 21, when the duo got their fourth extension in the bail till January 7.