ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday rejected the permanent bail application filed by former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sibling Faryal Talpur in the mega money laundering case.
Subsequently, the court has allowed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to arrest both PPP leaders.
A two-member division bench comprising of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani and Justice Aamer Farooq presided over the hearing.
In this regard, the court had sought complete record pertaining to the money laundering accusations against the PPP leaders from the NAB.
As the hearing resumed, NAB prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana pleaded with the court for 20 minutes to give arguments in the case.
To which, the bench stated: “You have already presented your arguments, while this is hearing for a bail and not an appeal against conviction.”
The NAB prosecutor responded that 29 [fake bank] accounts were traced, according to the FIR lodged in the case, and transactions of Rs4.5 billion were uncovered, and billions of rupees were transferred from A1 International and Umair Associates.
He further disclosed that the Zardari Group and the Parthenon Private Limited had conducted transactions with the accounts, and said this was a detail of only one account from the total 29.
The prosecutor argued that Mr Zardari’s bail application was inadmissible for hearing.
In this regard, the court had sought complete record pertaining to the money laundering accusations against the PPP leaders from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Importantly, the NAB had sought the court’s permission to arrest Mr Zardari and his sibling. The bureau has already issued arrest warrants for the PPP co-chairman in the money laundering case.
Farooq H Naek, the defense counsel of the PPP leaders, while responding to the arguments of the prosecutor stated that the chairman of the bureau does not have an authority to issue arrest warrants, and in this case he had issued an arrest warrants.
The court reserved its judgment over the matter, and later announced it while rejecting the bail application of both PPP leaders, who left the premises of the court without hearing the ruling.
Meanwhile, a special team of the accountability watchdog has also left the courthouse and moved towards the Parliament House for arresting Mr Zardari and Talpur. The team will inform the speaker of the house about the matter as Mr Zardari is also a member of the NA.
Another team of the bureau has left for the Zardari House.
The accountability watchdog has also sought assistance from the district administration and police.
Several senior members of the party have also arrived at the Zardari House, and are sharing their legal opinion over the matter with the former president.
The former president was on interim bail for two months and twelve days, and since March 28, he got extended his bail five times.
NAB is conducting investigations in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the money laundering of billions through fake accounts case wherein it forwarded the joint investigation team (JIT) report with directions to investigate and file references.
Earlier, the case was being heard in a banking court in Karachi but had been shifted to an accountability court in Islamabad upon an appeal by the NAB.