KARACHI: Former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on Monday approached the court and got an extension in interim pre-arrest bail till January 23 in the fake accounts and money laundering case.
Moreover, the PPP leader has submitted his response on the alleged possession of fake accounts in the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP).
His response stated that he had not done anything wrong, and expressed certain reservations regarding the ongoing inquiry against him by concluding that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) had not submitted concerned documents and witnesses testimony in the case.
Furthermore, the response said that the accusations were entirely based on “political victimisation”.
Besides, the former president pleaded with the court to reject the JIT report while terming it ‘detrimental’ for the sanctity of the court of law.
The plea further stated that the Zardari family reserves the right for defence, and the JIT lacked mandate of recommending the matter to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
It said that Faryal Talpur had already filed assets details with the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR).
The money laundering case against Zardari
Earlier on December 24, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), formed on the apex court’s orders to probe into the alleged money-laundering case, presented its 128-page final report to the court which included recommendations for filing 16 NAB references.
The report had mentioned that 29 fake accounts were identified by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which laundered Rs42 billion, however, the team further discovered 11,500 bank accounts of 924 account holders, 59 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and 24,500 Cash Transactions Reports (CTRs).
All of these details were scrutinized, besides the loan profile of 924 individuals.
The report further stated that the fake accounts were opened through the Omni Group, however the accounts had been engaged with direct transactions with the Zardari Group, Bahria Town, Sindh Government departments and certain contractors while the ultimate beneficiary of money laundering was Zardari’s family.
Later, the court had ordered Zardari to submit his reply by December 31, however, during the previous hearing extended his and his sister s interim bail till January 7.
On September 6, the SC had formed a JIT to probe into alleged mega money laundering of Rs42 billion channeled through fake bank accounts in three banks.
Besides the Zardari family, several prominent individuals including former Summit Bank president Hussain Lawai and Omni Group president Anwar Majeed, have been accused in the case.
Property tycoon Malik Riaz, his son-in-law Zain, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari have been also included in the inquiry.