The Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected bail appeal of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in a case pertaining to laundering of billions of rupees through fake bank accounts.
A division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani reserved the verdict after hearing arguments from the prosecution and defence side.
The verdict is likely to be pronounced shortly.
The PPP co-chairman and his sister were in attendance in the court to seek extension in the interim bail granted to them.
In his arguments at the start of the hearing, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana stated that there are documents available on record about 29 fake bank accounts, adding a private bank is involved in the scandal.
The judges expressed displeasure over the prosecutor when he deviated from the fake accounts case and began forwarding arguments on the Park Lane Estate case.
Justice Aamir Farooq censured the lawyer, asking him to present his arguments over the bail extension pleas of the accused.
The prosecutor said Zardari doesn’t deserve bail. “Bail before arrest can be granted in an extraordinary situation but the petitioner has presented no such ground.”
Advocate Farooq H Naek, representing the PPP leaders, forwarded his arguments upon completion of arguments by the NAB prosecutor.
At the previous hearing, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana had stated before the judges that Zardari is directly involved in the fake bank accounts case as the bureau has enough evidence to arrest him.
He said the NAB has traced suspicious transactions to the tune of Rs1.5 billion to an account associated with Zardari group of companies from a fake account. The account holder didn’t know that the account existed in his name.
When asked whether the corruption watchdog had enough material to launch an investigation under the Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010, the prosecutor replied they can start a probe even without fulfilling requirements of the law.
A total of nine applications were filed by the PPP leaders – seven by Zardari and two by Talpur.
Five out of the seven applications sought extension in pre-arrest bail, while the other two were regarding new call-up notices. However, Talpur sought extension in her bail through the two applications.