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KARACHI: A banking court allowed on Wednesday applications of the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) detained former chairman Hussain Lawai and another banker Taha Raza for provision of better facilities to them in prison in an alleged money laundering case.

Judge Tariq Mehmood Khosa pronounced his order, which was reserved earlier after hearing arguments from the two sides.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) detained and booked Mr Lawai and Mr Raza in July for allegedly facilitating opening of 29 ‘fake’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited, through which suspicious transactions were made to different companies, including M/s Zardari Group.

In their applications, the defence counsel Syed Haider Imam Rizvi argued that his clients were highly professional and educated, who might be allowed ‘B’ class facilities in the prison.

Last week, the bail application of the two under-trial bankers was dismissed by the court in the case.

FIA alleged that a fake bank account titled A-One International in the Summit Bank’s Khayaban-i-Tanzeem branch was used to place illegitimate funds for the purpose of money laundering and Rs4.145 billion were credited and routed through it from March 6, 2014 to Jan 12, 2015.

It added that the amount was transferred to 13 different business entities, including the Zardari Group — a company owned by the former president and co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur— which received Rs15 million.

However, the trial court granted interim pre-arrest bail to Mr Zardari, Ms Talpur and around 10 other suspects, who surrendered before the court to join the trial in the alleged money laundering case.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2018