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December 12, 2019

Zardari granted bail on medical grounds

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December 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday granted post-arrest bail to former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on medical grounds in two corruption references pertaining to fake accounts scam against two surety bonds worth Rs10 million each.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamer Farooq conducted hearing on bail petitions of Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in the corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) pertaining to Park Lane Company and mega money laundering.

Advocate Farooq H Naek represented Zardari and Talpur, while Additional Prosecutor General Jahanzeb Bharwana and Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi appeared before the court on behalf of the NAB.

Zardari’s medical report was produced before the bench, which was prepared by a five-member medical board constituted by the court to examine the former president’s health.

NAB prosecutor Bharwana read out the report loudly on the directives of the chief justice. The medical report stated the former president’s treatment was not possible inside jail due to his current health condition, adding Zardari was suffering from type-2 diabetes and also facing heart ailments. It further revealed the former president had three stents placed in him and needed an angiography.

The NAB prosecutor told the bench his department had completed its investigation and filed a reference against Zardari and others. The chief justice asked as to whether the NAB still wanted Zardari to remain in jail and receive medical treatment on government expenditures. The court, however, granted bail to the PPP co-chairman in both the cases.

The same bench also heard a bail application filed by Talpur but adjourned further proceedings until December 17 after the NAB sought more time for submission of its reply in the petition.

In an application filed earlier this month, Talpur maintained she was the mother of a differently-abled child and in order to care for her child, she asked the court to grant her bail until the completion of the trial. It may be mentioned here that Zardari, Talpur and others are facing charges of corruption through fake bank accounts and embezzlement in the financial facility for Park Lane Private Limited and Parthenon (Pvt) Limited. The NAB alleged the national exchequer suffered a huge financial loss because of those irregularities. Zardari was under detention on charges of money laundering and undergoing treatment at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) in Islamabad. He was arrested by the NAB after the cancellation of his pre-arrest bail by the IHC in the fake bank accounts case on June 10.