Islamabad accountability court rejects Zardari's pleas for dismissal of 3 corruption references

23 Sep 2020

Email

Court says former president Asif Ali Zardari cannot be acquitted in cases pertaining to fake bank accounts. — Online/File
Court says former president Asif Ali Zardari cannot be acquitted in cases pertaining to fake bank accounts. — Online/File

An accountability court in Islamabad on Wednesday ruled that Asif Ali Zardari be indicted in three corruption references against him while dismissing the former president's pleas against the cases.

The court had reserved its decision on September 17. According to the verdict, announced by Judge Azam Khan, Zardari cannot be acquitted in references pertaining to fake bank accounts.

The accountability court also summoned all the suspects, including Zardari, on September 28.

The former president had urged the court to dismiss corruption references pertaining to money laundering, Park Lane and Thatta water supply.

Zardari is facing multiple corruption cases that have stemmed from a mega money laundering scandal, which came into the limelight in 2018. The former president, his sibling Faryal Talpur and several of their business associates are being probed as part of a 2015 case regarding fake accounts and fictitious transactions —which were initially found to have totalled Rs35 billion — conducted through 29 ‘benami’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and UBL.

Zardari is accused of being involved “in extending loan and its misappropriation by M/s Parthenon Private Limited, M/s Park Lane Estate Private Limited and others”. His lawyer, however, has argued that the PPP co-chairperson had been a director of M/s Park Lane, but he resigned from the company in 2008 before assuming the office of the president of Pakistan.