Court adjourns fake accounts case hearing till April 16

Accountability court defers Zardari, Talpur's indictment in money laundering case

ISLAMABAD: Former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur appeared before the accountability court in the first hearing of fake bank accounts case today (Monday).
During the hearing, the court rejected exemption plea of Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur and ordered them to attend all the hearings of the case.
Meanwhile, two women accused have filed a request to become witness in the case over which lawyers of other accused opposed the decision and said that it’s not a stage that you can easily become approvers.
The court has adjourned hearing of the case till April 16.
On the occasion, female party workers clashed with the security personnel after which, they were arrested whereas PPP‘s former general secretary Latif Khosa also got infuriated for stopping to enter the court.
Earlier, in a statement, Asif Zardari had said that I believe in facing the cases with patience. Efforts are being made to implicate us in different cases, he added.
It is to be mentioned here that the case was transferred to accountability court in Islamabad from Karachi’s banking court.
Earlier on December 24, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), formed on the apex court’s orders to probe into the alleged money-laundering case, presented its 128-page final report to the court which included recommendations for filing 16 NAB references.
The report had mentioned that 29 fake accounts were identified by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which laundered Rs42 billion, however, the team further discovered 11,500 bank accounts of 924 account holders, 59 Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and 24,500 Cash Transactions Reports (CTRs).
All of these details were scrutinized, besides the loan profile of 924 individuals.
The report further stated that the fake accounts were opened through the Omni Group, however the accounts had been engaged with direct transactions with the Zardari Group, Bahria Town, Sindh Government departments and certain contractors while the ultimate beneficiary of money laundering was Zardari’s family.
Later, the court had ordered Zardari to submit his reply by December 31, however, during the previous hearing extended his and his sister s interim bail till January 7.
On September 6, the SC had formed a JIT to probe into alleged mega money laundering of Rs42 billion channeled through fake bank accounts in three banks.
Besides the Zardari family, several prominent individuals including former Summit Bank president Hussain Lawai and Omni Group president Anwar Majeed, have been accused in the case.


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