Asif Zardari gets bail in graft cases


By Makhdoom Shehryar Babar
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday granted bail to former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari on medical grounds in two separate graft cases that pertain to money laundering through fake bank accounts and Park Lane estate case.
A two-member bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamir Farooq granted the PPP leader bail against two surety bonds of Rs10 million each.
As the high court resumed the hearing, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) represented by Prosecutor General Jahanzaib Bharwana and Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi presented Zardari’s medical report prepared by a five-member medical board at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to the bench.
The high court-mandated medical board in its report stated that the former president was suffering from type-2 diabetes – a chronic medical condition in which blood sugar levels build up abnormally – and also faces heart ailments. It further revealed that the former president had three stents placed in his heart.
The report further said that it was not possible for the former president to receive proper treatment in jail.
NAB’s legal team told the court that the bureau had completed its interrogation and filed a reference.
“Does NAB want Zardari to remain under detention and receive treatment on state’s expenditure?” asked Justice Minallah. The anti-corruption watchdog did not answer. Subsequently, the high court granted bail to Zardari in both cases.
Zardari was shifted to PIMS in October after the medical board stated that he was suffering from cardiac problems, diabetes and other ailments, and needed medical care. Initially, his CT scan and angiography would be conducted whereas angioplasty will also be done if necessary.
Head of National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) Dr Nadeem Qamar would be Zardari’s consultant cardiologist.
The PPP stalwart has been suffering from ischemic heart disease, which means his heart may have an inadequate supply of blood and oxygen. He also has severe pain in L5-S1 vertebra of the spinal cord.
The bench, however, adjourned Faryal Talpur’s bail plea till Dec 17 owing to a lack of response from NAB.
In an application filed earlier this month, Talpur maintained that she was the mother of a differently-abled child. In order to care for her child, she asked the court to grant bail until the completion of the trial.
Zardari, Talpur and other accused face charges of corruption through fake bank accounts and embezzlement in the financial facility for Park Lane Private Limited and Parthenon (Pvt) Limited. NAB alleged that the national exchequer suffered a loss of Rs3.77 billion because of the irregularities.
Bilawal grateful to judges
Staff Report
ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Wednesday thanked judges for granting bail to former president Asif Ali Zardari on medical grounds. Talking to the news men outside the Islamabad
High Court, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari showing concerns over medical report of his ailing father thanked the masses for their prayers. He said Asif Ali Zardari will go through the treatment as medical report highlights serious threats to his life.
Criticizing the incumbent government, the PPP leader claimed that incompetent government has ruined our economy and politics. “This is the last year of the PTI government.” Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was confident that his party will be in position to form government next year.
Earlier, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had approved the bail petition of former president and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on medical grounds.
The petitioner was directed to submit Rs10 million surety bonds in the court. Asif Ali Zardari is facing corruption charges and currently, he is in the PIMS hospital owing to his worsening health.
On Tuesday, the former president had filed a bail petition on medical grounds in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
On Monday, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had announced that his ailing father will file a bail petition on medical grounds.