KARACHI: While extending the interim bail granted to former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and 10 other suspects in an alleged money laundering case on Tuesday, a banking court declined the Federal Investigation Agency’s request for issuing perpetual arrest warrants for absconding suspects, some of whom live abroad.
Judge Tariq Mehmood Khoso adjourned to Sept 25 hearing in the money laundering case of Rs4.14 billion through fake bank accounts in the Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited.
On Tuesday, Faryal Talpur, Zain Malik, the son-in-law of real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, Shahzad Jatoi, Khawaja Ali Majeed, Khawaja Nimr Majeed, Khawaja Mustafa Zulqarnain and six other businessmen and bankers appeared in court.
Court adjourns hearing in money laundering case to Sept 25
Mr Zardari moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance before the court for one day since he was in Islamabad in connection with the presidential election.
Mumtaz Malik, the FIA prosecutor, informed the court that non-bailable arrest warrants issued by it for five or six absconding suspects could not be executed as some of them were not in the country. He pleaded for issuing perpetual arrest warrants for their arrest. However, the judge declined the request and directed the investigation officer to initiate the procedure for proclamation of the absconders and attachment of their properties under Section 87 and 88 of the Criminal Procedure Code and submit a report on the next date of hearing.
The judge asked whether any progress report was filed by the IO, but the prosecutor sought more time since the IO was in Islamabad to appear before the Supreme Court on Wednesday (today) in suo motu proceedings regarding investigation into the fake accounts and money laundering case.
Expressing his displeasure over the prosecutor’s conduct, the judge asked him to submit a written application explaining the reasons for adjournment. Malik complied with the order, upon which the court adjourned the next hearing to Sept 25.
It also allowed Mr Zardari’s plea for exemption from personal appearance and extended his interim bail, along with Ms Talpur’s and others, till the next hearing.
The court reserved its verdict on applications seeking provision of better class facilities to the detained former chairman of the Pakistan Stock Exchange, Hussain Lawai, and banker Taha Raza in prison. It directed the IO to explain as to why the personal belongings of the two detained bankers were not being returned to them.
The court expressed its displeasure over the FIA’s decision to move ailing businessman Anwar Majeed, who is believed to be close to Mr Zardari, and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed, to hospitals. Their counsel sought a one-day exemption for them from personal appearance in court. The plea was allowed.
Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2018