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Agencies
July 1, 2020

Tosha Khana case: NAB court issues bailable arrest warrants for Zardari

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Agencies
July 1, 2020

By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court has issued bailable arrest warrants for former president Asif Ali Zardari in the Tosha Khana reference after turning down his petition to be exempted from attending the proceedings.

The court also ordered to initiate the process to declare former prime minister Nawaz Sharif as a proclaimed offender in the same case due to his continuous lack of appearance from proceedings. AC Judge Asghar Ali Khan conducted a hearing on the reference against Asif Zardari, Nawaz Sharif and ex-prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

During the course of proceeding, Zardari’s lawyer Farooq H Naek adopted the stance that his client was aged and unable to appear in person due to the risk of Covid-19. He requested the court to grant a one-day exemption from the hearing to the ex-president.

The court rejected the exemption request of Zardari and said the accused would have to appear before the trial court as it was a criminal case. To this, the lawyer said an arrest warrant of the ex-president would be appropriate in case he (Zardari) had no representation in the court.

He said he had appeared on behalf of his client and assured the court that Zardari would appear in a later hearing. Naek further said if Zardari appeared in person before the court, his supporters would also gather which could increase the risk of coronavirus spreading.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi said it was the administration’s job to control a crowd. He requested the court to issue non-bailable arrest warrants against Zardari.

He further said Gillani had been exempted from the court appearances but no one had appeared on his behalf on Tuesday’s hearing. He also requested the court to withdraw Gillani’s exemption.

Naek informed the court that former prime minister Gillani had got infected with Covid-19 and gone into isolation. The court adjourned the hearing until August 17.