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April 19, 2019

IHC seeks record of NAB appeals against Zardari’s acquittal

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April 19, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Thursday sought complete record from the accountability court on NAB plea challenging the acquittal of former president Asif Ali Zardari in ARY Gold and Ursus tractors corruption references.

The IHC Division Bench, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, took up the NAB plea challenging acquittal of former President Asif Ali Zardari in the ARY Gold and Ursus tractors corruption reference.

During hearing, NAB Prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana argued in the court that the trial court ignored evidence in corruption references. The acquittal plea of the accused persons couldn’t be heard until recording the evidence.

He told the IHC that on April 21, 2016, the verified record was sought by the court, but it was not produced so far. He stated before the court that first Asif Ali Zardari got benefit of NRO. Then case was reopened against him when National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was declared illegal by the Supreme Court, but at that time Zardari was president of Pakistan. being president, Zardari enjoyed immunity at that time and didn’t face any trial against him.

The NAB prosecutor stated that the trial court had stated in its decision that it would be waste of time to carry the proceeding in theses reference. Justice Athar Minallah remarked that then why trial court heard the acquittal plea of Asif Ali Zardari.

The NAB prosecutor requested the court to seek complete record from the trail court. The IHC bench sought the complete record of the case and adjourned the hearing for indefinite time.

It is to mention here that Ursus tractors reference 5,900 Russian and Polish tractors were purchased for Awami Tractor Scheme at the cost of Rs150,000 each. The deal allegedly caused huge loss to national exchequer.

The ARY Gold reference is the alleged grant of licences to ARY Traders for import of gold and silver which caused losses of billions of rupees to the public exchequer.

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