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Sunday May 29, 2022

IHC to hear NAB appeals against Zardari’s acquittal

The NAB had filed the appeal seven years back against the acquittal of Asif Zardari by the trial court

By APP & News Desk
May 15, 2022
IHC to hear NAB appeals against Asif Ali Zardari’s acquittal. Photo: The News/File
IHC to hear NAB appeals against Asif Ali Zardari’s acquittal. Photo: The News/File

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday fixed an appeal for hearing of a case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the acquittal of former president Asif Ali Zardari in references pertaining to ARY Gold, Ursus Tractors and SGS-Cotecna.

A division bench, headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah, would take up the NAB appeal for hearing on Monday. Previously, the court had instructed the NAB to appear with preparation and avoid further wasting of court's time.

The NAB had filed the appeal seven years back against the acquittal of Asif Zardari by the trial court.

Meanwhile, indictment of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his son, Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz, in the Rs16 billion money laundering case, was deferred once again on Saturday as the newly-appointed prosecutor sought time for preparation. It is pertinent to mention here that the special court in Lahore summoned PM Shehbaz Sharif and his son for their indictment in the case Saturday but the duo did not appear before the court.

Earlier, charges could not be framed against the suspects in the money laundering case on April 11 and April 27 due to their absence from the courtroom.

At the outset of Saturday's hearing, Amjad Pervaiz, Shehbaz Sharif’s counsel, apprised the court that the prime minister had to visit his doctor in the United Kingdom and was scheduled to visit the UAE to offer his condolences on the demise of the country's president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. He pleaded with the court to grant him an exemption from personal appearance. At this, the judge remarked that Shehbaz Sharif’s personal appearance was mandatory for his indictment in the case.

Meanwhile, the FIA’s prosecutor said that he will not oppose the exemption from the court appearance on medical grounds. The prosecutor said that he himself needed time to prepare the case.

Punjab CM Hamza Shehbaz, however, appeared before the court. As per the rules, the appearance of all the suspects, in any case, is compulsory for the indictment. Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing of the case till May 21.

In a separate money laundering case, Punjab CM Hamza Shehbaz appeared before the accountability court. During the course of the proceedings, the interior ministry told the court that the record about the Ashiana Reference was burnt to ashes at Ashiana-e-Iqbal Chowki and a case has been registered in this regard in 2017. The ministry said that they have yet to find the record.

At this, the court ordered the CCPO to present the record on the next hearing and adjourned the proceedings till May 25.

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