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Faryal Talpur gets interim bail till August 16


July 28, 2018

Faryal Talpur, a central leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and sister of former president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, obtained interim bail on Friday from the trial court hearing a case of money-laundering of billions of rupees.

The Special Banking Court (SBC) directed Faryal Talpur to deposit surety bonds of Rs2 millions as he was being granted bail till August 16. The SBC earlier considered the plea of Talpur to grant her interim bail as she feared her arrest by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) that has nominated her, Zardari and others as absconders in a charge sheet.

The counsel for Talpur told the court that a bench of the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) Larkana Circuit bench has already approved pre-arrest bail of Talpur in the money-laundering case. Earlier, the FIA had declared Zardari and Talpur absconders among others.

Also facing charges in the case are Zardari’s close aide and Pakistan Stock Exchange Chairman Hussain Lawai. The FIA had on Saturday submitted an interim charge sheet against Lawai and other suspects in the court. The FIA has declared more than 20 people absconders.

Another aide to Zardari, Anwar Majeed, and Majeed’s s son were among those absconders in the money laundering case. Lawai, who is also said to be a close aide to Zardari, and his companion Talha Raza are facing charges of corruption of around Rs35 billion and are already in detention.

Talpur, through her counsel Farooq H Naek, had filed for pre-arrest bail in the SHC Larkana Circuit bench, contending that the FIA registered the case on a political basis and the move to register the case was to prevent them from contesting the elections 2018.

The two-member bench comprising Justice Irshad Ahmed Shah and Justice Rasheed Soomro had considered the argument and accepted pre-arrest bail for six days. In such cases, the accused granted protective bail by the appellate court is made duty-bound by the court to approach the trial court before the expiration of the time.

Hussain Lawai and his companion Talha Raz are accused of money laundering of more billions of rupees. The attorneys for the two accused had already been opposed the plea of the investigation officer (IO) at the time of the production of the two detained bankers before a judicial magistrate (South) while terming the allegations of money laundering of around Rs35 billion as fictitious charges.

Advocate Shaukat Hayat had argued that a dormant case was reopened against Lawi without any legal justification. He further contended that Lawai had been a Board Director of the Pakistan Stock Exchange and his arrest had caused a very negative impact on the stock exchange.

The FIA took notice of the scam when the financial monitoring unit of the State Bank of Pakistan generated a “suspicious transaction report” in January this year regarding ten bank accounts, reporting that over 20 unknown accounts at a private bank were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made.

The FIA declared PPP-Parliamentarians President Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur absconders in a corruption case relating to fake accounts and fictitious transactions worth Rs35 billion.

The case was initially registered against former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Lawai and other accused bankers.

Lawai and other bankers were accused of facilitating opening of 29 fake accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited, where beneficiaries of the Sindh government had deposited Rs35 billion that was subsequently transferred to different accounts.

Ex-PSO officials

The administrative judge of the accountability courts granted a plea for two-day physical remand of two former officials of the Pakistan State Oil (PSO), Syed Zulfiqar Ali Jaffery and Syed Nazar Ali Zaidi.

The two accused had gone into hiding after they were alleged by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to have been involved in corruption of billion of rupees.

Later, Syed Zulfiqar Ali Jaffery was arrested in Islamabad and Syed Nazar Ali Zaidi was apprehended from Gilgit-Baltistan. When the two were produced before the administrative judge, the IO told the court that the custody of the men was required for holding interrogation. The court considering the stance of the IO granted two-day physical remand of the accused.