Thursday September 23, 2021

Lawai, co-accused sent on 14-day judicial remand

July 15, 2018

KARACHI: A local court on Saturday sent the prominent banker and close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, Hussain Lawai and his companion Talha Raza to prison on a 14-day judicial remand.

Earlier, the court rejected the stance of the investigation officer (IO) to further extend the physical remand. Advocate Shaukat Hayat while opposing the request of the IO said that he does not have any proof of corruption against Lawai and the prosecution request should be denied. At this, the IO submitted before the presiding judge that he had recorded Lawai's statement and has also gathered more details of some bogus bank accounts.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is probing into a potential laundering scandal of Rs35 billion implicating a top political leader along with his business and banker friends.

The South Judicial Magistrate Shahrukh Shahnawaz, had earlier twice granted the FIA’s requests to extend the physical remand. However this time he rejected the prosecution request and ordered sending Lawai and his co-accused to prison on 14-day physical remand.

On court’s query, the defence counsel advocate Shaukat Hayat said the Supreme Court of Pakistan was informed by the defence counsel that the allegations do not have any worth and they all are false. The Supreme Court had then directed to let the case be heard by the trial court, Hayat concluded. According to the investigators, the two accused laundered around Rs7 billion and the FIA had succeeded in recovering Rs4 billion. Lawai, the then chairman of the Pakistan Stock Exchange and former head of a private bank, was arrested with Talha Raza, another banker, on July 7 and charged with money laundering.