Former president Asif Zardari’s indictment in money laundering case postponed till Sept 17

ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari will now be indicted in the money laundering case on September 17 after a new petition was filed by the PPP supremo seeking acquittal in the supplementary reference on Wednesday.

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At the outset of the hearing, Asif Zardari’s counsel Farooq H Naik filed the petition requesting the court to dismiss the money laundering reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against his client.

NAB Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi objected to the fresh application before the indictment in the case, saying they are asking for time for preparation on their own petition.

“I am ready to present arguments on it, why aren’t they.”

“We have not filed any supplementary reference in the money laundering case. The case was transferred from Karachi so he had filed a reference after his interrogation,” he maintained.

After hearing arguments from both sides, Accountability Court Judge Azam Khan adjourned the hearing till September 17.

Mega money laundering case

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.”

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