The Islamabad High Court granted pre-arrest interim bail to the former president and Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari in the fake accounts case.
The former president filed a petition seeking the pre-arrest bail in the case related to the illegal award of contracts to private firms. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has already summoned him for recording statement in the case on May 9.
In his petition, Mr Zardari said NAB had through a May 6 call-up notice summoned him to “record his plea and produce documents … regarding the award of a contract by Government of Sindh Special Initiative Department to M/s Harish and Company and others”.
The call-up notice stated that NAB’s investigation revealed that a fake bank account titled M/s Royal International, maintained at Sindh Bank’s Gole Market Branch, Nazimabad, Karachi, was opened in the name of Qasim Ali, an employee of the Omni Group. During the course of the investigation it was revealed that in June/July 2015, payments amounting to Rs7.45 million from the illegal proceeds of money had been credited into the account of Abdul Nadeem Bhutto, in-charge of Naudero House, Larkana, from the aforementioned account.
Further Case Investigations:
The payments also had been used to pay off the expenses of Naudero House, it claimed.
Farooq H. Naek, the counsel for Mr Zardari, told the court that the case against his client was baseless and NAB wanted to “harass, humiliate, politically victimise, defame and disparage his reputation”.
Mr Zardari’s petition contended that “at the moment petitioner is not aware that how many cases are registered against him and how many call-up notices will be issued to him and/or references may be filed against him by respondents [NAB]”.
After the further hearing, an IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani issued a notice to NAB and granted interim bail to Mr Zardari against Rs500,000 surety bonds.
Qaim Ali Shah
The same bench extended till May 21 interim bail of former chief minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah in the fake bank accounts case.
Mr Shah was named in a report by a joint investigation team tasked with probing the fake accounts case. He was among the 172 people whose names were placed on the Exit Control List. NAB had summoned Mr Shah in connection with an investigation against Thatta Sugar Mills and Dadu Sugar Mills.