Published Aug 31, 2018 11:50am

Banking court grants interim bail to Zardari in money laundering case

Shafi Baloch

A banking court in Karachi on Friday granted an interim bail to former president Asif Ali Zardari in a money laundering case.

Zardari had obtained a protective bail from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in the case on August 18. The high court had directed the former president to appear before the trial court by Sep 3.

The former president, along with his lawyer Farooq H. Naek, appeared before the court today and obtained an interim bail with a surety of Rs2 million.

When asked by a reporter to comment on the "day by day worsening situation" for him, the PPP co-chairperson laughed off the question.

The case was initially registered in 2015 against former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai, who is widely believed to be close to former president Asif Ali Zardari.

Later, seven individuals, including Zardari and Talpur, were said to have been found involved in using those accounts for suspicious transactions which totalled Rs35 billion. The accounts were allegedly used to channel funds received through kickbacks.

Last month, Lawai and banker Taha Raza were detained and booked for allegedly facilitating the opening of 29 ‘fake’ accounts through which suspicious transactions were made to different companies, including M/s Zardari Group.

Zardari's sister Faryal Talpur had also obtained an interim pre-arrest bail in the case in the sum of Rs2 million.

Both the siblings are facing corruption charges relating to fake accounts and fictitious bank transactions worth Rs35 billion. Both Zardari and Talpur face allegations that they had illegally channelled funds through the said accounts in connivance with the chief executive officers of major banks.

A few days ago, the siblings had also appeared before a joint investigation team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Islamabad to record their statement in the multi-billion rupee money laundering and fake bank accounts case open against them.

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