Zardari withdraws acquittal plea in reference on Rs8bn transaction

Published September 30, 2022
A file photo of former president Asif Ali Zardari. ─ DawnNewsTV/File
A file photo of former president Asif Ali Zardari. ─ DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday withdrew his petition seeking acquittal in a corruption reference related to suspicious transaction of Rs8.3 billion.

Sources claimed that Mr Zardari made the decision to seek relief from the accountability court under the recently amended National Accountability Ordinance.

Last year, the accountability court, Islamabad, dismissed the former president’s acquittal plea but the decision was challenged in the IHC.

In October, the IHC stayed Mr Zardari’s indictment in the reference.

One accused in the case has already signed a plea bargain deal with NAB

The National Accountability Bureau has accused Mr Zardari of constructing his house in Clifton, Karachi, with ill-gotten money. According to details mentioned in the reference, Mushtaq Ahmed, another accused, had provided Rs150 million for construction of the house.

The NAB reference said that Mr Zardari could not provide proof of his claim that he had built the house through legal means.

According to the reference, an illegal transaction of Rs8.3bn was made via Mushtaq Ahmed’s bank account with the money being paid to M/s Bahria Town (Pvt) Limited.

Mushtaq Ahmed worked as a government employee in the President House from 2009 to 2013. He was recruited as a stenographer on the recommendation of Senator Rukhsana Bangash.

Another accused in the case Zain Malik, son-in-law of Bahria Town’s owner Malik Riaz, has already signed a plea bargain deal with NAB and deposited around Rs9bn into the exchequer.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2022

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