Zardari, Faryal Talpur indicted in money laundering case

28 Sep 2020

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Former president Asif Ali Zardari appeared before an accountability court on Monday in the mega money laundering case. — DawnNewsTV
Former president Asif Ali Zardari appeared before an accountability court on Monday in the mega money laundering case. — DawnNewsTV

An Islamabad accountability court on Monday indicted former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in the mega money laundering case.

The former president appeared before the court along with Talpur and his daughter, Asifa Bhutto-Zardari.

The court also indicted Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed and his son, Abdul Ghani Majeed, during today's hearing which was presided over by Judge Azam Khan. All the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Reacting to the news, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said "political victimisation of the opposition continues during a global pandemic", adding that Zardari and Talpur have been appearing in court for the past two years.

"Runaway dictator traitor, three special assistants, ministers and the premier's sister won’t be summoned because we have two laws in Pakistan," he said in a tweet.

The court also postponed Zardari's indictment in the Park Lane reference until October 5 and issued bailable arrest warrants for three accused in the Thatta Water Supply reference. The court adjourned the hearing of the mega money laundering case until October 13 and directed three witnesses to appear before it at the next hearing.

Meanwhile, Zardari challenged the mega money laundering and the Park Lane reference trials in the Islamabad High Court, pleading not guilty in both the cases.

Last week, the accountability court had rejected Zardari's plea seeking to quash three references related to the fake bank accounts case.

Through his counsel Farooq H. Naek, Zardari had challenged the filing of the supplementary references in the ongoing cases of money laundering, Park Lane and Thatta Water Supply reference.

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, Faryal 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.