KARACHI: A banking court has granted exemption to Pakistan Peoples Party-Parliamentarian president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur from appearing in a fake bank accounts case.

Senior lawyer Farooq H. Naik filed applications on Monday before the court on behalf of his clients, pleading that Mr Zardari was unable to appear in court due to his political engagements in Islamabad.

Regarding Ms Talpur, the counsel informed the court that she was unwell.

The court granted them exemption from appearance for one day and adjourned the hearing till April 22.

Mr Zardari, Ms Talpur, and others have been facing cases pertaining to the alleged opening of fake bank accounts and using them for illicit transactions amounting to billions of rupees.

In 2018, a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court had identified at least 29 bank accounts as fake and claimed in its report that these had been used for laundering Rs42 billion.

The apex court had in Jan 2019, referred the JIT report and evidence collected to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for further investigation. However, later the cases were transferred to the banking court in Karachi for further proceedings.

Published in Dawn, February 20th, 2024

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