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A court hearing the murder case of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on Tuesday summoned 12 branch managers of different banks, along with details of former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf's bank accounts, to appear before it on October 7. The Special Court Judge Muhammad Asghar Khan expressed displeasure over Federal Investigation Agency's (FIA's) failure to share details of transactions in frozen bank accounts of the former president with the court despite the passage of two years.
While issuing notices to bank managers, the court directed them to submit details of the amount withdrawn from the bank accounts, which had been frozen on the court's orders. The Special Court Judge also directed bank managers to apprise the court of reasons behind allowing withdrawals from frozen accounts and a delay of two years in sharing these details with the court. The Special Court has been seeking details of the transactions for months.
On February 15 this year, the FIA had submitted details of Musharraf's properties in Pakistan. The agency told the court that its report contained complete details of the former army chief's assets except for some of his bank accounts. The court had reprimanded the FIA for withdrawal of money from Musharraf's frozen bank accounts and directed it to present a report. At the time, the court was told that no huge amounts were debited and only bank charges were deducted. However, despite the passage of over three months, the FIA is yet to submit a comprehensive report on the illegal financial activity.
In August 2017, the ATC convicted former Additional Inspector General Saud Aziz and Senior Superintendent of Police Khurram Shehzad in the Benazir murder case and awarded both of them 17 years' imprisonment. It acquitted five suspects belonging to the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan - Rafaqat Hussain, Hasnain Gul, Aitzaz Shah, Sher Zaman and Rashid Ahmed. Musharraf is also absconding in the high treason case and the murder case of Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi and his properties have been confiscated in these cases as well.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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