Money-laundering probe: Zardari and Talpur failed to appear, Duo demands removal of JIT head

ISLAMABAD: The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money-laundering from fictitious and fake-front accounts, including the brother-sister duo of Zardari and Talpur. Zardari’s close aide and former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai has already been arrested earlier this month in relation with the widespread probe.

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Former president Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur are summoned to appear before a joint investigation team probing money-laundering allegations against them on the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) directives.

Zardari and Talpur had failed to appear before the agency despite being summoned on July 11. Talpur had subsequently asked the FIA for more time to submit a response in the case.

The agency, on August 1, had issued notices to both to appear today before a JIT in Islamabad formed to probe the allegations.

According to the sources, money trail of Rs23 billion out of Rs35 billion had been obtained so far. The JIT investigating the matter await Zardari and Talpur for questioning at the FIA Headquarters in Islamabad on Saturday (today).

Talpur’s lawyer Farooq Naik claimed in the last hearing on last tuesday that neither his client’s name is clearly mentioned in the FIR of the money laundering case nor is she related to the inquiry in any way.

Newsone reported, Faryal Talpur, the sister of ex- President of Pakistan Asif Zardari challenged the charge sheet, the hearing in that regard today in Sindh high court today deliberated upon the credibility of the challenge by Talpur  and whether it was admissible or not, can the challenge request be heard in the context of constitution and law was the matter of discussion.

Faryal Talpur’s challenge claims that the inquiry and FIR is out of FIA’s jurisdiction and it is a case for the federation not a singular body like FIA.

Court adjourned the hearing of the case issuing notices to Deputy Attorney General, Advocate General and others for an appearance at a later date.

“Remove JIT Head”

Faryal Talpur on Saturday demanded removal of the head of a joint investigation team formed on the Federal Investigation Agency’s directives to probe money-laundering allegations against them.

Zardari and Talpur again failed to appear before the FIA today, despite being issued notices by the agency to appear before the JIT at its headquarters in Islamabad.

Citing reservations against JIT head Najaf Mirza, Talpur’s counsel Farooq H. Naik petitioned the FIA to replace him and constitute a new investigative team to probe the matter.

Naik told that Zardari had registered an FIR against Najaf Mirza back in 2005. Expressing his reservations against the JIT head, the counsel said a transparent investigation into the matter was not possible if Mirza was not replaced.

“We are ready to cooperate with the FIA,” Naik said, adding that Talpur could not appear before the JIT as she was in Larkana to submit her asset details.

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