RAWALPINDI, July 30: An accountability court while giving verdict in ARY Gold reference on Saturday acquitted five accused and issued warrants of arrest for two besides declaring them proclaimed offender.

Accountability Court-II (AC-II) Judge Mian Altaf Hussain Mahar also linked the resumption of hearing into ARY Gold case with the arrest of the accused and end of the immunity to President Asif Ali Zardari, also an accused in ARY Gold Reference.

The court acquitted former commerce secretary Brigadier (retired) Aslam Hayat Qureshi, Principal Secretary to the President, Salaman Farooqi, ARY Gold owner Haji Abdul Razzaq, Haji Abdul Rauf and Jan Mohammad while issued permanent arrest warrants for former federal secretary finance Javed Talaat and Swiss company SGS Director Jens Schlegelmich.

In his order, the accountability judge said that the prosecution had failed to prove charge against the five person and therefore the court acquitted them.

However, the case was adjourned till the arrest of proclaimed offenders or end of the immunity of President Asif Ali Zardari.

In the ARY Gold reference, late Benazir Bhutto is the main accused along with President Asif Ali Zardari.

The name of Benazir Bhutto was quashed in the reference after her assassination in December 27, 2007.

According to the reference, then prime minister Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari Brigadier (retired) Aslam Hayat Qureshi and Salaman Farooqi allegedly allowed ARY owner Haji Abdul Razzaq to import gold and silver duty-free between 1995 and 1997, inflicting billions of rupees loss to the national exchequer.

There are nine accused in the case. Shahnaz Rauf, shareholder in ARY Gold, has already been acquitted from the case for want of evidence.

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