ISLAMABAD: An accountability court hearing the Thatta Water Supply corruption reference decided to indict former president Asif Ali Zardari via video link.
The court resumed hearing on one of the corruption references against the PPP leader on Wednesday. Zardari once again excused himself from appearing before the court, saying that he could not attend proceedings due to the ongoing coronavirus situation and his ailments.
Judge Azam Khan ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to assist the court in setting up the video link for proceedings of the case. The court also declared the co-accused in the case, Ashfaq Leghari, an absconder, separating his case from Zardari’s reference.
Subsequently, the accountability court adjourned proceedings of the case till August 4, summoning Zardari and the other 14 suspects at the next hearing.
Thatta water supply reference and fake accounts case
The Thatta Water Supply is a supplementary reference, part of the fake bank accounts and mega money-laundering scam references filed by the NAB against the PPP leader.
In October 2015, the anti-corruption wing of the Federal Investigation Agency in Karachi received a tip-off of suspicious intra-bank transactions from the Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and the United Bank Limited.
The profiles of the account holders did not match their earnings/income. FIA authorities suspected that these accounts were being run by the Zardari Group and Omni Group, amongst others.
The case dragged on until June 2018, when the Supreme Court took suo moto notice of the fake accounts and directed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter.
The investigation team concluded that 32 fake bank accounts were being operated by 11 fake entities to launder money from “kickbacks, land grabbing and large scale misappropriation of public funds.”