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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) extended stay order against the indictment of former president Asif Ali Zardari in Rs8.3 billion suspicious transactions in fake bank accounts case.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamer Farooq on Tuesday heard a petition filed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman against the Islamabad accountability court’s order dated October 14 of rejecting his acquittal plea in the case.

During the hearing, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor, Nasir Mehmood Mughal, submitted the bureau’s reply. At this, Zardari’s counsel Farooq H Naek said he would argue the case after studying the NAB’s reply.

Therefore, the court accepted his plea and deferred the case till December 14 for further proceedings.

The bench also restrained the trial court from framing charges against him till further order.

Zardari’s counsel Farooq H Naek stated in the petition that he moved an acquittal plea under Section 265-D read with Section 256-K code of criminal procedure before Accountability Court-III judge Syed Ashgar Ali but the court turned down Zardari’s plea and decided to indict him and the other accused on October 28.

According to the petition filed by Naek on behalf of Zardari, the allegations against the accused Zardari in the reference is regarding purchase of house no F-33, block-04, Clifton, Karachi for a sum Rs150 million, which has admitted in the reference duly declared in the wealth statement filed before the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and statement of assets and liabilities submitted before the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

It added that it is also admitted in the reference that conveyance deed of the said property was duly registered showing sale price paid in cash but it alleged that the payment was made through 18 cheques from joint account of Zain Malik and Mushtaq Ahmed.

He prayed before the court to declare the said AC order as malafide, illegal, null and void abinitio, while suspending the operation of the said order.

He requested the court to restrain the AC from framing charge against the petitioner and acquit him in the said reference.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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