ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday gave PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari a two-week protective bail in a money laundering case and directed him to appear before a banking court on September 3. The bail was approved against Rs0.5 million surety.
Justice Miangul Aurangzeb approved Zardari’s request during an in-chamber hearing.
Zardari appeared before the IHC along with his daughter Aseefa Bhutto Zardari.
He filed the petition through his counsel Aitzaz Ahsan and Latif Khosa after a local banking court on 17 August issued non-bailable arrest warrants for him and other absconding suspects in an ongoing probe into a multi-billion money laundering scam.
In his plea, Zardari said he wanted to appear before the trial court but needed protective bail as he feared his arrest.
The counsel for former president Asif Ali Zardari in their petition have pleaded before the court that, “The petitioner is not named as an accused in the FIR, his inclusion in the above titled case is an outcome of personal grudge on the part of Mr. Bashir Ahmed Memon DG FIA whose brother contested recent elections on GDA ticket against the nominee of PPP headed by the petitioner. Likewise head of JIT Mr. Najaf Kohli Mirza Additional DG FIA who is accused in case FIR 16/2015 U/s 324, 109, 34, 120 PPC lodged by the petitioner for the murderous assault committed upon the petitioner while the petitioner was in police custody in false cases, and the said case is pending adjudication before the Additional Sessions Judge Karachi South.”
“That the malafide on the part of prosecution could also be ascertained from the fact that the officials of the FIA who are either head of investigating team and the inquiry officers are political antagonists or having criminal litigation with the petitioner…..” says the petition.
Mr. Zardari through his petition further pleaded that, “The petitioner is not named accused in the FIR rather the name of the petitioner has been included as accused on the analogy that the transaction of Rs. 15 million has taken place from one of the said fake account into the account of the company i.e. M/s Zardari Group Pvt Limited without ascertaining the fact that the petitioner has any concern with the said Zadari Group Pvt Limited, since the petitioner while entering the office of the President of Pakistan he had abdicated and recused himself from the affairs of the company. On this score alone, the case of the petitioner is one of further inquiry…”