NAB prosecutor in two references against Zardari resigns citing personal reasons

02 Jan 2020

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Mudassir Naqvi was part of the six-member prosecution team, constituted by NAB, to represent the anti-graft body in the fake accounts cases against Asif Ali Zardari. — AFP/File
Mudassir Naqvi was part of the six-member prosecution team, constituted by NAB, to represent the anti-graft body in the fake accounts cases against Asif Ali Zardari. — AFP/File

The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) prosecutor for two references filed by the accountability watchdog against Asif Ali Zardari resigned on Thursday, citing personal reasons.

In his letter addressed to the prosecutor general of NAB, Mudassir Naqvi has cited his parents’ "ailing health" as the main reason for his decision to resign from the post.

Naqvi was part of the six-member prosecution team, constituted by NAB, to represent the anti-graft body in the fake accounts cases against the former president. As part of his duties, Naqvi was given the charge of the Park Lane and money laundering references filed by NAB against the former president.

Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other accused face charges of corruption through fake bank accounts and embezzlement in the financial facility for Park Lane Private Limited and Parthenon (Pvt) Limited.

NAB has alleged that the national exchequer suffered a loss of Rs3.77 billion because of the irregularities. Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan's records indicate that Zardari and Bilawal are 50 per cent shareholders of Park Lane, a real estate firm. As per the prosecution, the Park Lane case is being investigated under different sections of NAO 1999 and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 for Zardari's alleged involvement "in extending loan and its misappropriation by M/S Parthenon Private Limited, M/S Park Lane Estate Private Limited and others".

The fake bank accounts case involves alleged money laundering worth billions of rupees through 29 accounts, which were found opened in three banks — Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Ltd. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had named Zardari, Talpur, Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed, his sons and over 10 others as suspects in an interim charge sheet filed in a banking court in August 2018. The case was transferred in March 2019 from the banking court in Karachi to the accountability court of Rawalpindi for trial.