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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court, Islamabad, on Thursday, adjourned hearing of Toshakhana case against former president Asif Ali Zardari, former prime ministers, Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani and Nawaz Sharif, and others without any progress due to a lawyers’ protest.

Accountability Court-III judge, Syed Asghar Ali, while hearing the case adjourned the hearing till January 20, without any proceedings due to a protest of the Pakistan Bar Association (PBA) against appointment of a junior judge as a judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

At the start of the hearing, Zardari and other accused’s counsel filed separate applications seeking one-day exemption of their client before the court, which the court approved.

The NAB had filed the Toshakhana reference against former president Zardari, two former prime ministers, Nawaz Sharif and Gilani and others for allegedly acquiring three vehicles including, BMW 750 Li model 2004, Toyota Lexus Jeep 472 model 2007 gifted by the embassy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and BMW 760 LI model 2008 gifted by the embassy Libya and gifts from Toshakhana-an official treasury where gifts from foreign dignitaries or heads of state are deposited - in violation of rules and regulations.

Similarly, Accountability Court-II judge Muhammad Azam Khan also adjourned hearing of Pink Residency case against Omni Group Abdul Ghani Majid and others till January 12 without any proceedings. The NAB filed Pink residency case against Omni Group Abdul Ghani Majid and 16 others.

The reference pertains to a project, “Pink Residency” in Karachi’s Gulistan-e-Jauhar area. The accused had been allegedly involved in illegal regularisation of two plots in Gulistan-e-Jauhar.

One of the plots measured 23 acres of land, while the other was of seven acres. The anti-graft body has alleged that financial transactions related to the illegally-regularised plots were conducted through fake bank accounts.

The NAB estimates that the illegal land regularisation and consequent sale caused a loss of Rs4 billion to the national exchequer. Accountability Court-III judge, Syed Asghar Ali, also adjourned the proceedings of assets beyond known source of income case against former director general Parks and Horticulture, Karachi, Liaqat Ali Khan Qaimkhani due to the lawyers protest till January 20.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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