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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court, on Thursday, deferred framing of charges against former president Asif Ali Zardari and others in the Rs8.3 billion suspicious transactions in fake bank accounts case until a decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Zardari’s appeal.

The Accountability Court-III judge, Syed Asghar Ali, while hearing the case, deferred indictment of Zardari and others in suspicious transaction case till January 6, after it was informed that the IHC has extended its stay orders against the indictment of former president Zardari.

The accountability court had scheduled to indict Zardari and other accused in the said reference on Thursday.

At the start of the hearing, the defence counsel told the court that the IHC has extended the stay order against the indictment of accused person still December 14.

According to the reference, Mushtaq Ahmed, a former stenographer of the Presidency 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 and circuitous route by using Zain Malik and his trusted person accused Ahmed, by concealing the origin and trail of money.

The NAB reference says 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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