IHC grants protective bail to Zardari in money laundering case

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court approved former president Asif Ali Zardari’s petition for protective bail in a money laundering case.

Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb approved Zardari’s request during an in-chamber session after the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman appeared before the IHC along with his daughter Aseefa Bhutto Zardari.

The court ordered Zardari to approach the trial court concerned.

He has been ordered to appear before the banking court on September 3.
Besides, a written order has been issued for his bail, which was approved against bonds worth Rs0.5 million.
The bail of former president and co-chairperson of PPP has been approved for two weeks.

Zardari had filed a petition in the IHC through his counsels Aitzaz Ahsan and Latif Khosa after a local banking court issued non-bailable arrest warrants for the former president and other absconding suspects in an ongoing probe in a multi-billion money laundering scam.

In his plea, the former president stated that he wants to appear before the trial court but is seeking protective bail over fears of getting arrested.

Zardari also requested that he be exempted from appearing before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested last month in connection with the probe.

Over 20 ‘benami’ accounts at some private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made, according to sources. The amount, according to FIA sources, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.