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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court, on Tuesday, extended the physical remand of former Capital Development Authority (CDA) chairman Farkand Iqbal for eight days in Park Lane case against former president Asif Ali Zardari and others. Accountability Court-III judge, Syed Asghar Ali, while hearing the case, following the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) request extended physical remand of Iqbal till August 12.

Earlier, the suspect was brought to the court by the anti-graft body officials after completion of his five-day physical remand. The NAB arrested former CDA chairman on July 27 from Rawalpindi over the accusation of awarding 118 kanals of government land to Park Lane Company.

During the court proceedings, the NAB requested the court to extend for another 14-day physical remand of the former CDA chairman, to conduct further investigation from him, which was opposed by the defense counsel. The anti-graft body has already arrested former Environment CDA member Mian Waheeduddin and former Deputy Tehsildar Muhammad Iqbal in the same case. Last year, the accountability court indicted former president and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Zardari and others in a case involving allegations of money laundering and misuse of authority in Park Lane reference.

According to the charges levelled against Zardari, he influenced the relevant authorities during his tenure as president to release loans to front companies. He was accused of being a director of the Park Lane Company, and planning to commit fraud.

The former president allegedly got his front company, Parthenon (Private) Limited, a loan of Rs1.5 billion with ill intention, and the money was then transferred for his personal use through fake accounts. The 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.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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