IHC extends interim bail of Zardari, sister

Updated April 11, 2019

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On March 28, the IHC had granted pre-arrest interim bail to Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur and sought a written reply from NAB till April 10. — DawnNewsTV/File
On March 28, the IHC had granted pre-arrest interim bail to Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur and sought a written reply from NAB till April 10. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: While extending the interim bail of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur till April 29 in the fake bank accounts case, the Islamabad High Court on Wednesday directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to furnish details of ongoing and pending inquiries against the Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman.

An IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani resumed hearing of the petitions filed by the PPP co-chairman and his sister seeking pre-arrest bail in the fake accounts case. Both the accused appeared before the court, along with their counsel Farooq H. Naek and Sardar Latif Khan Khosa.

PPP secretary general Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, party’s Islamabad chapter president Raja Shakeel Abbasi and other leaders were present during the hearing.

Directs NAB to furnish details of ongoing, pending inquiries against former president

Mr Zardari has also sought details of the ongoing and pending inquiries in which NAB intends to file references against him in near future.

On March 28, the IHC had granted pre-arrest interim bail to Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur and sought a written reply from NAB till April 10.

On Wednesday, NAB deputy prosecutor general Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi informed the court that the bureau’s reply was ready and would be submitted in a couple of days.

The court directed NAB to submit the reply by April 13 and extended the interim bail of Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur till April 29.

Advocate Naek told the court that NAB did not provide any details about the cases against the former president.

NAB prosecutor Abbasi said the anti-corruption watchdog could share the details of ongoing investigations, but since there were certain inquiries in which NAB was not sure whether to file a reference or otherwise, it was not appropriate to share such details with Mr Zardari at this stage.

Justice Kayani remarked that in order to make sure that Mr Zardari was not surprised with sudden filing of any reference, NAB needed to share the details of all inquiries against him.

Justice Farooq suggested that the court might be apprised of the call-up notices so far issued by NAB to Mr Zardari so that he could also know how many inquiries were in progress against him, as well as details of those cases in which he was not required by the anti-corruption watchdog.

Mr Abbasi assured the court that NAB would provide the requisite information to it before the next hearing.

The fake accounts case was initially registered in 2015 against former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai, who is said to be close to Mr Zardari. Later, Mr Zardari and Ms Talpur were said to have been found involved in using those accounts for suspicious transactions.

The same IHC bench issued notice to NAB for April 29 on a bail petition filed by Hassan Ally Memon, former project director of the Special Initiative Department of Sindh government.

Mohammad Ramzan Chaudhry, the counsel for Mr Memon, told the court that the accused was the project director and chairman of the procurement committee which had approved the award of contract for a water supply scheme in Thatta to a private contractor. He said it was a collective decision of the procurement committee to award the project, but NAB with mala fide intention dragged his client into the case.

He requested the court to release Mr Memon on post-arrest bail.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2019