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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court on Friday adjourned mega money laundering and Park Lane cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, and others due to absence of the defence counsel till January 20.

The Accountability Court-II judge, Muhammad Azam Khan, while hearing the case, adjourned the hearing of mega money laundering case against Zardari, his sister, and others due to the absence of Zardari’s counsel Farooq H Naek.

During the hearing, associate of Zardari and Faryal Talpur’s counsel as well as lawyers of the other accused filed separate applications seeking one-day exemption from appearing before it, which the court has approved.

Barrister Shiraz Rajpar associate Zardari lead counsel and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor, Waseem Javed, appeared before the court. Rajpar told the court that Naek was busy before other the court and he prayed before the court that the arguments over the acquittal pleas of Zardari and Talpur filed under the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2021 be postponed till the next hearing.

The court approved his request and adjourned the hearing till January 20.

The NAB had nominated Zardari, Faryal Talpur, Hussain Lawai, Anwar Majid, Abdul Ghani Majeed, Taha Raza, Arif Khan, Muhammad Umair, Syed Hussain Faisal Shah Jamote, Azam Wazir Khan, Nimr Majid, Mustafa Z Majid, Ali Kemal Malik, M Younas Kudwavi, Zain Malik, Haji Haroon, Khawaja Muhammad Salman Younus, PirDarvesh Khan, Imran Khan, Muhammad Aurangzeb, and Bilal Shaikh, in the supplementary reference filed in connection with mega money laundering case.

Meanwhile, the same court also adjourned hearing of Park Lane case against Zardari and others due to absence of his lead counsel till January 20.

The NAB prosecutor, Irfan Bohla, Zardari lead counsel associate Barrister Shiraz Rajpar appeared before the court. Last year, the accountability court indicted former president and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Zardari and others in a case involving allegations of money laundering and misuse of authority in Park Lane reference.

According to the charges levelled against Zardari, he influenced the relevant authorities during his tenure as president to release loans to front companies. Those who were nominated by the NAB in the supplementary reference filed in connection with the Park Lane case included, Zardari, Muhammad Iqbal Memon, director Park Lane Company, M/s Park Lane Estate (Private) Limited, Muhammad Iqbal Khan Noori director M/s Parthenon (Pvt) Ltd, Muhammad Hanif Accountant M/s Park Lane Estate, M/s Parthenon (Pvt) Limited, an incorporated entity bearing certificate of incorporation under the provision of the Companies Ordinance 1984, and Hussain Lawai, former president Arif Habib Bank, and the Summit Bank.

The other accused included Abdul Ghani Majid, shareholder/director Regent Service (Pvt) Ltd multiple companies known as Omni Group, Khawaja Anwar Majid shareholder director Omni Group, Taha Raza public relationship manager Arif Habib Bank now Summit Bank, Farooq Abdullah area branch manager HBL, Uzair Naeem former AVP Summit Bank, M/s Tracom (Pvt) Ltd through GM south - an incorporated entity bearing certificate of incorporation under the provision of the companies office, Muhammad Saleem Faisal General Manager (GM) M/s Tracom (Pvt) Limited, and Zahir Ismail.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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