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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court on Wednesday deferred the indictment of former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, and other accused in the mega money laundering case after the Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) leader filed another application seeking acquittal in the supplementary reference.

Accountability Court's judge Muhammad Azam Khan, while hearing the case, deferred framing of charges against Zardari and others till the next hearing to be held on September 17.

Zardari, while wearing a face mask and a face shield, appeared before the court along with his sister Faryal Talpur and daughter Aseefa Bhutto. At the start of the hearing, Zardari's counsel, Farooq H Naek, filed the petition requesting the court to dismiss the supplementary reference in money-laundering reference that the NAB filed against his client.

Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi, deputy prosecutor general NAB, while objecting to Zardari's application before indictment in the case, saying they were asking for time to prepare their own petition.

"I am ready to present arguments on it, why you are not? We have not filed any supplementary reference in the money laundering case," Abbasi said. The case was transferred from Karachi, so the NAB had filed a reference after his interrogation, he said.

The court after hearing arguments of both the parties adjourned the hearing till September 17.

Subsequently, a notice has also been sent to the NAB on Zardari's plea seeking reference dismissal.

The NAB had nominated Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Hussain Lawai, Anwar Majid, Abdul Ghani Majeed, Taha Raza, Arif Khan, Muhammad Umair, Syed Hussain Faisal Shah Jamote, Azam Wazir Khan, Nimr Majid, Mustafa Z Majid, Ali Kemal Malik, M Younas Kudwavi, Zain Malik, Haji Haroon, Khawaja Muhammad Salman Younus, Pir Darvesh Khan, Imran Khan, Muhammad Aurangzeb and Bilal Shaikh in the supplementary reference.

In the interim reference, the NAB has a total of 30 accused including Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza, Anwar Majeed, Abdul Ghani Majeed, Noreen Sultan, Kiran Aman, Adeel Shah Rashidi, Muhammad Ashraf, Qasim Ali, Shahzad Ali, Sher Muhammad, Zain Malik, Iqbal Khan Noori, Nimr Majeed, Mustafa Zulqarnain, Aslam Masood, Muhammad Arif Khan, Nassar Abdullah, Adnan Javed, Muhammad Umair, Iqbal Arian, Azam Wazir Khan, Christopher D Craz, Muhammad Nasir Sheikh, Ghanzanfar Ahsan, Sawoodi Morkas, Muhammad Raheel Mobin, and Ali Kamal Majeed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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