ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court Islamabad on Thursday recorded statement of a prosecution witness in Toshakhana case involving former president Asif Ali Zardari, two former premiers, Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani and Nawaz Sharif, and others.
Accountability Court-III judge Syed Asghar Ali, while hearing the case, recorded statement of the prosecution witness, Sohail Rehman, a bank official.
The witness produced details of various bank accounts of the accused and other relevant documents before the court.
The witness told the court that he appeared before the investigation officer (IO) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on different dates regarding inquiry pertaining to taking of vehicles from Toshakhana by former president Zardari.
He further told the court that he produced accounts detail of Ansari Sugar Mills maintained by the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), specimen signature (SS) cards, and system-generated statement of accounts.
At the start of the hearing, Zardari’s lead counsel’s associate and others filed separate application before the court seeking exemption of their clients from personnel appearance before it, which the court approved.
The defence counsel raised objection over system generated-statement produced by the witness, and said that the document was not original and it is only a photocopy.
The judge said that objection has been taken into account and shall be decided at the final judgement.
The court deferred cross-examination of another witness, Zubair Siddiqui, following the request of Gillani’s counsel till next hearing to be held on April 22. Gillani’s counsel requested the court that he was not prepared to cross examine the witness; therefore, kindly delay it till the next hearing which the court approved.
The NAB had filed the Toshakhana reference against Zardari, two former prime ministers, Nawaz Sharif and Gillani and others for allegedly acquiring of three vehicles including BMW 750 Li model 2004, Toyota Lexus Jeep 472 model 2007 gifted by the embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and BMW 760 LI model 2008 gifted by embassy of Libya and gifts from Toshakhana - an official treasury where gifts from foreign dignitaries or heads of state are deposited - in violation of rules and regulations.
Similarly, Accountability Court-II judge Muhammad Azam Khan adjourned hearing of the mega money laundering, Park Lane case, and Thatta water supply case without hearing till April 21st as the accused in custody were not produced before the court due to law and order situation that emerged due to the protest of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021