News Desk |
Pakistan Peoples’ Party Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur presented themselves before an accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday, 16th April for a hearing related to the fake accounts case.
During the same proceeding, accountability court judge Justice Mohammad Arshad Malik accepted surety bonds of Rs1 million for property tycoon Malik Riaz’s son-in-law Zain Malik and Shahzad, another accused in the case. The Zardari siblings had also submitted an application to tender surety bonds but, as their pre-arrest bail petitions are already pending before the Islamabad High Court (IHC), the court postponed further proceedings until the next hearing.
Judge Malik asked the women to submit their written requests before the court. Both the accused had filed applications before the court saying they could not afford to engage defense lawyer.
An investigation officer (IO) informed the court that he had managed to shift all records, included in a joint investigation team (JIT) report in the fake accounts case and the banking court’s previous proceedings in the said case to Islamabad. The petition to shift the case had been filed by NAB and had been contested by the Zardari siblings twice in superior courts, to no avail.
The records had been shifted from Karachi to Islamabad yesterday (Monday, 15th April) and therefore, IO required time to prepare the paper books for the accused. Traditionally, after the paper books are distributed, a court indicts the accused in the next hearing.
On April 8, in an unforeseen plot-twist, during the proceeding chaired by Judge Arshad Malik of the Panama case, two women, Kiran Aman, and Noreen Sultan, who were named as accused in the case, had said that they were ready to testify as witnesses and had even filed an application before NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal.
The judge asked NAB to verify whether the two women had filed a request. Judge Malik asked the women to submit their written requests before the court. Both the accused had filed applications before the court saying they could not afford to engage defense lawyer.
The applications of both have been submitted to bureau’s chairman and are awaiting a decision. The court today also directed three others to submit an application to the court regarding their surety bonds.
Read more: NAB: The only casualty in ‘war of words’
Separately, a division bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) granted Faryal Talpur pre-arrest interim bail until April 29 in an inquiry pertaining to allegedly receiving kickbacks in a joint venture project between the Zardari Group and Bahria Town.