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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court, on Wednesday, deferred indictment of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman and former president Asif Zardari and others in a corruption reference related to suspicious transaction of Rs8 billion through fake bank accounts till October 14th.

The Accountability Court-III judge, Syed Ashgar Ali, while hearing the case, deferred indictment of Zardari and Mushtaq Ahmed, a former stenographer of the presidency and warranted that it will issue arrest warrant of the accused, if they failed to appear before it during the next hearing to be held on October 14.

The court has scheduled Zardari’s indictment for Wednesday but deferred due to non-appearance of the former president due to health condition.

Farooq H Naek appeared before the court and filed an application seeking one-day exemption from appearing before it.

Naek told the court Zardari is ill; therefore, charges should be framed through video link.

He also told the court that if you are hell-bent upon his appearance he will come by next hearing.

On this, the judge said that then he can be summoned tomorrow.

Naek said that tomorrow would be difficult as he is sick and he would appear in the court on the given date.

The court approved Zardari’s exemption application and said that the court will issue his warrant, if he did not appear before it on the next hearing.

The court adjourned hearing of the case till October 14.

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 NAB reference said 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 above mentioned joint account, it says.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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