'Zardari could tamper records if not arrested,' NAB tells IHC

Updated April 12, 2019

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The bureau, in its report furnished in the court today, explained its opposition to the granted ball, saying that the former president may tamper the record if not taken into custody. ─ DawnNewsTV/File
The bureau, in its report furnished in the court today, explained its opposition to the granted ball, saying that the former president may tamper the record if not taken into custody. ─ DawnNewsTV/File

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Friday formally stated the reasons for its opposition to the interim bail granted to former PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the fake accounts case.

The IHC had on Wednesday extended Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur's interim bails till April 29, and directed the NAB to furnish details of ongoing and pending inquiries against the PPP leader.

The bureau, in its report presented to the court today, explained its opposition to bail, saying that the former president "may tamper records" if not taken into custody. Furthermore, it accused Zardari of not cooperating with the investigation team.

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According to the corruption watchdog, Zardari fraudulently obtained Rs1.5 billion in loans for his Park Lane company through other firms.

The bureau has alleged that Zardari, in connivance with former prime minister and fellow party leader Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, illegally obtained three luxury bullet-proof cars, two BMWs and one Toyota Lexus from the Toshakhana (the state gift repository), which were gifted by the governments of UAE and Libya.

NAB further said that that Zardari paid Rs37.16 million as duty/tax on the said vehicles through cheques issued from the fake accounts in question.

"NAB has collected documentary evidence in accordance with the law," it added. "However, it is the petitioner that is not cooperating with NAB. Moreover, the petitioner remained at influential positions. Therefore, tampering of evidence on his part cannot be ruled out."

The fake accounts case, through which billions of rupees were allegedly laundered, was initially registered in 2015 against former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai, who is said to be close to Zardari. Later, the PPP co-chairperson and his sibling were also added to the probe for allegedly using the accounts under investigation for suspicious transactions.