An accountability court on Friday fixed July 6, to indict former president Asif Ali Zardari, Omni Group’s head Anwar Majeed and others through video link in the Park Lane reference. The court ordered NAB to make arrangements for the attendance of Zardari and other accused from Karachi through video link. As Zardari to be indicted in Park Lane reference, PPP is again to clarify that the Benami properties do not belong to him.
An accountability court has adjourned the hearing of the Park Lane reference filed against former president Asif Ali Zardari till 6th July.https://t.co/IVxk3rImkO
— Daily Times (@dailytimespak) June 26, 2020
AC-II Judge Azam Khan conducted hearing on Park Lane corruption reference connected with the fake accounts scam against Zardari and others filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
During the course of proceeding, Farouk H. Naek filed a plea seeking one-day exemption from hearing for Asif Zardari which was accepted by the court. Naek pleaded that his client had no fear of his trial but he was unable to travel to Islamabad due to coronavirus outbreak.
The NAB prosecutor adopted the stance that the Supreme Court had ordered to use modern technology to complete the trials in pending cases. The proceeding was being disturbed due to the nonappearance of one man, he pleaded and prayed the court to indict Asif Zardari through video link.
The court ordered the NAB to make arrangements for the presentation of all accused from Karachi through the video link.
However, the NAB produced Omni Group’s Head Anwar Majeed through a video link from a hospital in Karachi. To a question by the court, Anwar Majeed said that his health was better than before.
After this, the court adjourned the hearing of the case till the next date.
Zardari to be indicted in Park Lane reference: Benami properties
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) completely rejected the claims of the government that co-chairman PPP Asif Ali Zardari has any Benami properties. The government estimated that around 32 properties belonging to the former president, which is to be confiscated soon.
PPP Information Secretary Senator Moula Bux Chandio held a press conference and said that the party categorically denies that Zardari owned any Benami properties. He challenged the government to approach the court if it had evidence in this regard rather than holding press conferences.
Chandio highlighted that the former president has declared whatever is in his possession. He repeatedly challenged the government to approach the court of law if there is any verification against the PPP co-chairman.
It is worth noting that the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability, Shahzad Akbar, has declared that the government will take legal action against the 32 Benami companies under Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.
Akbar addressed a press conference along with Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, the PM’s special assistant said strict action would be taken against Benami properties as per the law of the country and the money recovered from such properties and companies would be deposited to the national exchequer.
Moreover, he claimed several benami plots in posh areas of Karachi had also been identified. He mentioned how the JIT [joint investigation team] report had pointed out that Asif Zardari “remained involved in toppling the state systems by establishing even a bank without implementing legal formalities and paying capital”.
The government would soon start confiscating the properties of sons and sons-in-law of the Sharif family who have been declared as proclaimed offenders by the court. Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs, Syed Ali Zaidi, mentioned that the country’s wealth was shifted abroad through money laundering schemes, causing huge losses to the national exchequer.
He commented that Asif Zardari had established sugar mills and other properties by threatening the citizens and people, adding how Uzair Baloch had also accepted that Zardari made all his properties and assets by using his influence or through threats.
It is yet to be seen if the government shall take further actions or share details with the media about the undeclared Benami properties of Asif Ali Zardari.