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ISLAMABAD: A prosecution witness, Vice President National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Nabeel Zahoor, on Wednesday, testified before Accountability Court in Park Lane case against former president Asif Ali Zardari and others. The Accountability Court-II judge, Muhammad Azam Khan, while hearing the case, recorded the statement of Zahoor.

The witness told the court that he appeared before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Investigation Officer (IO) and provided relevant record before him. The witness said that he had provided all the record related to loans to the NAB’s IO. At the start of the hearing, Zardari’s and other accused’s counsel filed separate applications seeking exemption of their client from personal appearance before the court for one day, which it approved.

The witness did not complete recording of his statement, and he will continue his statement during the next hearing to be held today (Thursday).

According to the NAB, Park Lane case is being investigated under different sections of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO), 1999, and the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010, over Zardari’s alleged involvement in extending loan and its misappropriation by Parthenon (Private) Limited.

The NAB has accused the former president of causing the national exchequer a loss of Rs3.77 billion through fake bank accounts.

The anti-graft body further maintains that the accused created benami properties through Park Lane Company using Parthenon (Private) Limited as the front company.

Using the money acquired through loans, eight floors were constructed at the IBC Centre. Initially, a loan of Rs1.5 billion was taken that gradually increased to Rs4 billion. Those who were nominated by the NAB in the supplementary reference filed in connection with the Park Lane case included, Zardari, Muhammad Iqbal Memon, director Park Lane Company, M/s Park Lane Estate (Private) Limited, Muhammad Iqbal Khan Noori director M/s Parthenon (Pvt) Ltd, Muhammad Hanif Accountant M/s Park Lane Estate, M/s Parthenon (Pvt) Limited, an incorporated entity bearing certificate of incorporation under the provision of the Companies Ordinance 1984, and Hussain Lawai, former president Arif Habib Bank, and the Summit Bank.

The other accused included Abdul Ghani Majid, shareholder/director Regent Service (Pvt) Ltd multiple companies known as Omni Group, Khawaja Anwar Majid shareholder director Omni Group, Taha Raza public relationship manager Arif Habib Bank now Summit Bank, Farooq Abdullah area branch manager HBL, Uzair Naeem former AVP Summit Bank, M/s Tracom (Pvt) Ltd through GM south-an incorporated entity bearing certificate of incorporation under the provision of the companies office, Muhammad Saleem Faisal General Manager (GM) M/s Tracom (Pvt) Limited, and Zahir Ismail.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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