Abb Takk News

SC Stops FIA From Summoning Zardari, Faryal Till Elections

Islamabad(July 12, 2018): The Supreme Court ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Thursday not to summon Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister in the Rs35 billion money-laundering probe involving fake bank accounts.

Strict security arrangements were in place at the apex court in light of the former president’s expected appearance, after reports of him being summoned by the chief justice.

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Senior PPP leader and Zardari’s counsel, Farooq Naek, arrived at the Supreme Court earlier and told the media that Zardari’s appearance in court will depend on the nature of today’s proceedings.

However, as the hearing went underway, it became clear that Zardari will not be appearing in court.

During the proceedings, Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that the defence counsels should have approached the apex court if they had reservations about the top court’s orders. The chief justice also clarified that neither was Zardari summoned in person today nor was the brother-sister duo placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) — as reports had stated earlier.

The two-member bench observed that since Zardari is just a suspect, how could he be placed on the ECL.

The hearing was later adjourned until August 6. Earlier, the Interior Ministry confirmed that the names of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur has been placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) on the Supreme Court’s (SC) orders.

The directives were issued to the interior ministry by the apex court in connection with an ongoing suo motu case concerning an investigation into fake accounts and fictitious transactions worth billions conducted through several mainstream banks.

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The fake accounts were allegedly used for channeling funds received through heavy bribes and kickbacks.

A day after the SC’s order for placement of the names of all those connected to the case on the ECL, the FIA constituted a Joint Investigation Team (JIT), headed by FIA Sindh chief Munir Ahmed Shaikh, to investigate the matter. The FIA had directed the duo to appear before the team on Wednesday to record their statements and explain their position on the accounts and transactions.

Zardari, Faryal Vow To Appear Before FIA After Elections:

Earlier on Wednesday, Former President Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur had stated that they will appear before FIA after 25th of July as both are contesting in the upcoming polls.

The legal team of former president Asif Ali Zardari submitted his reply before the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in relation to the Rs35 billion money-laundering scam.

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The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money laundering from benami account, under which Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was also arrested earlier.

The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders consulted senior lawyers over FIA’s summoning of Zardari and they advised him against appearing before the investigative agency, sources said.

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