Money laundering case: Zardari, Talpur file review petition against SC decision

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) President Asif Ali Zardari and his sister, Faryal Talpur, filed a review petition against the Supreme Court’s January 7 decision in the ongoing money laundering case.

Latif Khosa filed the review petition on behalf on Zardari and Talpur.

The petition states that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) failed to submit a final challan in the banking court and the agency was unable to find any evidence against them despite cooperation from all institutions.

“The Supreme Court formed a joint investigation team (JIT) on FIA’s request. Zardari and Talpur appeared before the JIT and submitted written replies. In the absence of law, a JIT comprising members of different institutions cannot be formed,” it added.

The review petition upheld that the JIT could not find any direct evidence against Zardari or Talpur. “JIT presented a report in the Supreme Court without including our stance and the report is based on assumptions,” the petition added.

The JIT has also recommended further inquiry and the top court agreed that the investigative team could not present substantial evidence, it continued.

There was no reason to transfer the case from Karachi to Islamabad and Zardari has been the target of political revenge throughout his life, the review petition further read.

Zardari and Talpur in the petition said that the Supreme Court decision will affect the “fair trial” and the top court’s January 7 should be reviewed.

In light of the JIT report, SC had directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to conduct a fresh investigation within two months and file references against the accused in the case.

The case

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

The former president’s other close aide and Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed a close aide and Omni Group chairman and his son, Abdul Ghani, were arrested by FIA in August.

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 official.

The amount, according to FIA official, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes.