KARACHI: Former president and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Friday obtained interim bail from the trial court (a banking court) hearing a money laundering case against him, his sister Faryal Talpur, Hussain Lawai, Talha Raza, Anwar Majeed, his son Abdul Ghani Majeed and 26 others.
The court granted interim bail in response to the bail application moved by Advocate Farooq H Naek on behalf of Asif Zardari in the sum of Rs2 million. Zardari was directed to furnish bail bounds of Rs2 million against the interim bail granted for 15 days. The money laundering case has been fixed for September 4.
It may be mentioned that on August 16 the banking court (trial court) had issued non-bailable warrant of arrest against Zardari. He then had approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on August 18 that granted him protective bail. The court, however, had directed Zardari to appear before the trial court before September 3 and he appeared along with his counsel Farooq H Naek on Friday and obtained interim bail. Naek told the journalists that his client had been granted interim bail for 15 days.
On reply to a question on the forthcoming elections of President of Pakistan, Zardari said: “Aitzaz Ahsan will become the next president for sure.” Heavy security arrangements were made around the court. Before the arrival of Asif Ali Zardari to the court, a bomb disposal squad scanned the court premises and gave the clearance
On August 17, the banking court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Zardari and other absconding suspects in the ongoing probe. As many as 32 people are being investigated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in a money laundering case, including Asif Ali Zardari, his close aides and Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed and four of his sons. One of his sons Abdul Gani Majeed is under detention along with Anwar Majeed, whereas his three sons have obtained interim bail.
It is alleged that Over 20 ‘benami’ accounts in some private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made. The FIA claimed that the black money was collected in the wake of kickbacks, commissions and other bribes.