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Fake accounts case: Zardari urges court to fix review petition for Feb 12

February 09, 2019

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Petition says NAB authorities have set former president Asif Ali Zardari's "liberty and free movement" at "peril".
Petition says NAB authorities have set former president Asif Ali Zardari's "liberty and free movement" at "peril".

Former president Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, requesting that the hearing of a review petition he had filed against a Jan 7 verdict be fixed for Feb 12.

On Jan 7, the Supreme Court had tasked NAB with probing the fake accounts case after a joint investigation team (JIT) report revealed that at least 29 bank accounts identified as fake had been used for money laundering to the tune of Rs42 billion. The report had implicated former president Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, prominent banker Hussain Lawai, Omni Group's Anwar Majeed and other prominent bankers and businessmen.

Zardari had challenged the ruling last month, claiming that the Supreme Court "had no justification at all" for passing an order in the case. In the petition filed today, the PPP co-chairperson urged the court to fix the hearing of his petition on Feb 12.

The petition, filed by Advocate Sardar Muhammad Latif Khan Khosa on behalf of the former president, says that Zardari is innocent until proven guilty, yet has been being deprived of his fundamental rights.

"The liberty and free movement of the applicant has been set at peril by NAB (National Accountability Bureau) authorities," the petition reads. "The petitioner, despite being innocent in the [fake bank accounts case], is facing the agony and deprivation from the fundamental rights, causing an irreparable loss to him."

Yesterday, the Sindh government, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had filed separate petitions in the Supreme Court, challenging the verdict passed on Jan 7.

Shah and Bilawal had challenged being named in the JIT report and being classified among 172 people whose names were placed on the federal no-fly list as a consequence of being involved in the investigation.

Their names had been taken off the exit control list after the Supreme Court ordered the federal government to review its decision.