Zardari gets time till May 26 to respond to NAB questionnaire

Former President Asif Ali Zardari was presented before the National Accountability Court (NAB) on Thursday for hearing in M/s Harish and Company, JVO Opal 225 property, and suspicious transaction cases.

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DG NAB Irfan Mangi handed Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader a questionnaire after recording his statement. The questionnaire included questions about the aforementioned cases to which ex-president requested to submit a written response.

Zardari was granted time to submit his response till May 26 by NAB.

He is summoned by NAB on May 23 for the illegal contract of solar project case. According to sources, the accountability watchdog believes that the Sindh government gave the contact of the solar project illegally to a private firm.

On Wednesday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted interim bail to former president Asif Ali Zardari in six corruption cases that are being probed by the NAB.

The high court granted Zardari interim bail in the money laundering case until May 30.

Moreover, the former president was also granted interim bail in an inquiry pertaining to the Opal 225 property — that is owned by the Zardari group — until June 12 against surety bonds of Rs500,000. He also received an interim bail in the Park Lane probe until June 12.

The IHC extended Zardari’s interim bail in the Tosha Khana vehicles inquiry until June 20. In an investigation pertaining to suspicious transactions, Zardari’s interim bail was extended until May 21.

In a probe pertaining to M/s Harish and Company, the court adjourned the hearing until May 30.

A division bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiani heard the bail applications. Justice Farooq, during the hearing of the pleas, remarked that “it seems like there is a flood of bail [applications]”.

The former president is named in 36 NAB inquiries and the anti-corruption watchdog claims that his role has been established in at least eight cases so far, according to an 11-page report submitted by the bureau to the IHC on Tuesday.

According to the list, NAB has issued arrest warrants for the former president only in the Park Lane case, while it has filed two interim references against him.

The interim references have been filed against the illegal award of contracts to several companies including M/S Harish, by the Sindh government’s Special Initiative Department. Another reference is based on the first information report registered by the Federal Investigation Agency on June 7, 2018, in connection with fake accounts.

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