ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday granted time to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for appointment of prosecutor in its appeal against the trial court's verdict for acquitting the PPP's co-chairman in two references pertaining to polo ground and Ursus Tractors.
A divisional bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamer Farooq heard the NAB appeals, wherein, it had already sought the references record against Zardari from the accountability court, wherein, he was acquitted.
During the hearing, the NAB prosecutor, Nasir Mehmood, appeared before the court and informed the bench that the record has been sent to the NAB headquarters for the appointment of prosecutor in this case.
Therefore, he requested the bench to adjourn the hearing.
Accepting his plea, the IHC bench deferred the hearing for two weeks.
The NAB appeal stated that the trial court had no powers to acquit the accused in corruption case. The anti-graft body had challenged the acquittal of Zardari by an accountability court in two references in 2014.
The NAB has challenged the AC decision, in which it had acquitted Zardari in two corruption references including polo ground and Ursus Tractors corruption references.
The NAB has requested the high court to declare the AC verdict as null and void.
The NAB prosecutor had also requested the court to permit them to produce witnesses and evidences against Zardari before the court in this matter.
The Accountability Court (AC) Islamabad had acquitted former president Asif Ali Zardari in two corruption cases as the NAB failed to submit any proof.
The court announced the verdict, saying the accused had not been proven guilty so far.
It further stated that the evidence against the former president was not sufficient for further proceedings.
The counsel for the former president had contended before the court that the main accused in these references had already been acquitted, so a co-accused could not be tried and should be acquitted under the NAB Ordinance, 1999.
The NAB requested the high court to declare the decision of the trial court null and void, submitting that it had given the decision in haste without assessing the gravity of the offence of the accused.
The NAB prosecutor contended that the court's decision was based on presumptions and conjectures, which had no value in the eyes of the law.
Therefore, prayed before the court to set aside the AC judgment, which had exonerated Zardari from the charges of corruption in the two references.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021