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ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari, on Tuesday, appeared before the Accountability Court in connection with an alleged suspicious transaction of Rs8 billion in fake bank accounts case against him and his close aide.

Accountability Court-III judge Syed Ashgar Ali, while hearing the case against Zardari and Mushtaq Ahmed, a former stenographer of the president, marked Zardari's attendance and allowed him to leave the court.

Zardari's daughter, Aseefa Bhutto accompanied him.

Farooq H Naek, counsel for Zardari, submitted the power of attorney and verdict of the former president's bail before the court.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor, Waseem Javed, submitted a report on Mushtaq Ahmed, the alleged front man of Zardari, stating that Ahmed did not appear when summoned during the entire interrogation.

The prosecutor told the court that Mushtaq Ahmed fled abroad in 2015. The court should issue a warrant for him.

The court directed the NAB to send a notice to the accused, Ahmed, and copies of the reference be provided to accused Zardari.

The court adjourned hearing of the case till July 27.

According to the reference, Ahmed opened a joint account with a private housing society.

The account had been used for depositing corruption and money laundering money, the reference said.

It said there was concrete evidence that Zardari had purchased House No F-32, Block 04, Clifton, Karachi, through corruption money.

It says that the stenographer, Ahmed had made payment for Zardari's Clifton house.

An amount of Rs150 million was paid to one, Ahmad Abdul Bari against House No F-32, Block 04, Clifton, Karachi, which was transferred in the name of the accused, Zardari, from the account of Ahmed, it says.

According to the NAB, accused Zardari failed to provide any justification for the acceptance of an amount of Rs150 million, which proves that the amount received through a complicated, circuitous and devious route by using Zain Malik and his trusted person accused Ahmed, by concealing the origin and trail of money, the same was used to purchase House No F-32, Block 04, Clifton, Karachi.

The NAB reference says that during investigation, it has transpired that the accused, Ahmed, was appointed as a stenographer in the President House, who remained there from 2009 till 2013 and in the same period, the accused, Zardari was the president of Pakistan.

The financial profile of the accused, Ahmed, is also investigated, which shows that the accused Ahmed had no such source of income to match with the magnitude of transactions in the abovementioned joint account, it says.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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