A federal anti-corruption court indicted former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani and 25 others on Thursday in a corruption case pertaining to the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP). All the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Ex-PM Gilani and some former and serving senior TDAP officials, along with a few others, were booked for their alleged involvement in the approval and disbursement of fraudulent trade subsidies worth billions of rupees to several fake companies through fictitious claims and backdated cheques during the PPP government's tenure.
The Federal Investigation Agency had chargesheeted Mr Gilani in around 25 out of over 70 cases pertaining to the trade subsidy scam.
After the charges against the accused were read out, the court asked Gillani if they were true. The PPP leader responded that they were false allegations.
Gilani’s counsel Barrister Farooq H Naek stated that his client was charged with corruption of Rs4.9 million in 26 cases, but maintained that all the allegations are untrue.
"Former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani is innocent and the allegations against him are false," he said.
"He has been named in these cases due to political reasons and because of people harbouring ill intentions against him," he added.
The others who were indicted include Tariq Iqbal Puri, who headed TDAP from Oct 1, 2010, to July 7, 2012; Ex-TDAP director general (facilitation) Abdul Karim Daudpota, and other TDAP employees. Ten of the 25 indicted were proclaimed offenders.