Court rejects Faryal’s plea to unfreeze bank account

Updated April 01, 2020

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Judge restores two accounts belonging to the PPP leader's daughters. — AFP/File
Judge restores two accounts belonging to the PPP leader's daughters. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Tuesday rejected a petition of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Faryal Talpur seeking to unfreeze her personal bank account, but restored two accounts of her daughters.

Accountability Court-II Judge Azam Khan issued the order on Ms Talpur’s petition challenging the freezing of her account in connection with the fake bank accounts case.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had written a letter to the State Bank of Pakistan after her name surfaced in the fake accounts case. The SBP had directed scheduled banks to freeze her accounts. Subsequently, three accounts — one in her name and two in the name of her daughters — were frozen.

Ms Talpur’s counsel Chaudhry Riaz argued before the court that besides her personal account, NAB had also frozen the accounts of her children who were not facing any charges. He argued that the anti-graft watchdog had frozen the accounts of the Zardari Group of Companies in the fake bank accounts case, but failed to prove any connection of his client’s family accounts with the scam.

The allegations were against the Zardari Group, but NAB had frozen the accounts of Ms Talpur and her children, he added. The counsel requested the court to issue an order for restoring the bank accounts of his client and her children.

Judge restores two accounts of her daughters

According to the prosecution, the banks were asked to freeze Ms Talpur’s accounts in the fake bank accounts case involving alleged money laundering of billions of rupees through 29 accounts opened in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited.

The Federal Investigation Agency had named former president Asif Ali Zardari, Ms Talpur, Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed, his sons and over 10 others as suspects in an interim challan filed in a banking court in August 2018.

The case was transferred to Islamabad for trial after a Karachi banking court accepted NAB’s transfer plea filed after the Supreme Court had referred a joint investigation team’s report on the fake accounts case to the bureau with a directive to investigate the matter and file references.

The NAB prosecutor argued that the PPP leader’s plea was non-maintainable and said the accounts were frozen in accordance with the law.

But Ms Talpur’s counsel maintained that the bureau had admitted to freezing the accounts before the inquiry was finalised.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2020