KARACHI: The Karachi banking court on Monday summoned responses from the defence for Pakistan People's Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and others over a request by the National Accountability Bureau’s chairman to transfer the money laundering case against them to Rawalpindi.
The former president Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed, former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai, Summit Bank vice-president Taha Raza, Bahria Town director Zain Malik and others have been booked for allegedly causing and facilitating over Rs4 billion money laundering through at least 29 fake bank accounts.
A NAB prosecutor filed a statement with the court on behalf of the NAB chairman Justice (retired) Javed Iqbal stating that the investigation of the case had been transferred to the anti-graft body by the Supreme Court and it has decided to pursue the case in a Rawalpindi court. The statement came a week after the accountability judge Tariq Mehmood Khoso asked the Federal Investigation Agency’s investigation officer about the fate of the case since the court had been verbally informed about the transfer of trial lately but there is no official word on it. The prosecutor submitted the summary from the NAB chief which sought transfer of the case to the accountability court in Rawalpindi under section 16-A of the National Accountability Ordinance.
The judge issued notices to the defence seeking their arguments on the NAB chief’s plea by February 20. The apex court last month had referred the case to NAB with the direction to investigate the scam within two months. The case is registered under sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 109 (abetment) of the Pakistan Penal Code read with section 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 3 and 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act.