ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Monday indicted former president and PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari in the Park Lane estate and Thatta water supply project references related to the fake bank accounts case.
Zardari and other suspects represented themselves in the court presided over by Justice Azam Khan today. During the hearing, the former president was presented with the charge sheet of the said references while the other suspects were provided a copy of the indictments. The court framed charges against Zardari in the two references.
A total number of 19 persons were indicted in the Park Lane reference while 15 were indicted in the Thatta Water Supply reference. Zardari pleaded not guilty to the charges as the court directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to present witnesses in the Park Lane reference by Oct 20 and in the Thatta Water Supply reference by Oct 21.
The court had indicted Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on Sept 28 in the mega money laundering reference.
Zardari has been facing multiple cases, based on a mega money-laundering scandal, which came into the limelight before the July 2018 general elections.
The former president, his sister Faryal Talpur and several other businessmen were being probed as part of the 2015 case regarding fictitious transactions worth Rs35 billion conducted through 29 benami accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and UBL.
The former president is accused of being involved “in extending a loan and its misappropriation by M/s Parthenon Private Limited, M/s Park Lane Estate Private Limited and others”.
According to NAB, the Park Lane company was used as a “front company” to siphon off ill-gotten money. Zardari’s counsel argued that the PPP leader had been a director of M/s Park Lane, but he had resigned from the company in 2008 before assuming the office of the president of Pakistan.