Pakistan

Asif Zardari, Faryal Talpur get interim bail from IHC in six NAB cases

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Wednesday extended pre-arrest bail for former President Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in several corruption cases in which they are being investigated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

A two-judge IHC bench led by Justice Umar Farooq heard the cases regarding Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairperson’s pre-arrest bail in six different cases pending in NAB.

Zardari was granted bail extension until June 12 in the M/s Parklane Estate case, while he and his sister were granted extension until June 11 in the “JV (Joint Venture)-Opal 225 inquiry.

In the case regarding import of bulletproof vehicles, the PPP co-chairperson’s bail was extended until June 20, while in the Haresh and Company case his bail he was given extension until May 30. The court also extended Zardari’s interim bail until May 21 in the investigation pertaining to suspicious transactions.

Interim bail for Zardari and Talpur were also extended to May 29 in the mega-money laundering case.

Zardari has been summoned by the National Accountability on May 16 in relation to the Haresh and Company case, which is a part of the larger ongoing investigation over alleged fake accounts used to launder money.

In his petition, Zardari stated that the accountability watchdog had summoned him in the Haresh and Company case and that he could be arrested. The former president had requested the court that NAB be stopped from arresting him and that his bail be approved.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is investigating more than 30 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July 2018 in connection with the probe.

The former president’s other close aide and Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed a close aide and Omni Group chairman and his son, Abdul Ghani, were arrested by FIA in August 2018.

Several ‘benami’ accounts at multiple private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made, according to sources.

The amount, according to FIA sources, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.

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