NAB amendment ordinance 2021 does not apply on public office holders, rules accountability court
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
An accountability court in Islamabad on Saturday ruled that it is prima facie established that PPP Co-Chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari was involved in the Rs8 billion suspicious transactions case.
In its written verdict relating to the rejection of Asif Ali Zardari’s acquittal plea in the corruption reference, the accountability court said that it is an irrefutable fact that Zardari was a public office holder. “The NAB amendment ordinance 2021 does not apply on the public office holders,” read the verdict.
Asif Zardari is facing charges of money laundering and corruption to the tune of Rs8 billion. The NAB has also accused Zardari of showing the value of his house in Karachi less than its actual price in the documents.
On Thursday, the accountability court had set October 28 as the date for the indictment of Asif Ali Zardari in the case.
While rejecting the acquittal plea of the former president, accountability court-III judge Syed Asghar Ali had summoned him on the next hearing for indictment. The hearing was then adjourned till October 28.
Earlier, the PPP supremo had appeared before the accountability court in Islamabad and filed an acquittal plea.
During the proceedings, his counsel Senator Farooq Hamid Naek had argued that Zardari could not be indicted in the case after the new NAB ordinance.
“No allegation about harming the national exchequer has been levelled against my client in the case,” the lawyer had said, adding that the case did not fall under corruption and corrupt practices. Hence, the accountability court had no jurisdiction to hear the case, argued the lawyer.
Asif Zardari’s counsel had said that an allegation relating to Rs150 million worth of registered sale deeds has been levelled against his client and, as per the case, the amount was paid through bank cheques. He had said that the bank cheques did not belong to Asif Ali Zardari. “First of all, tell me whether this petition is admissible or not?” the judge had asked. The lawyer had pleaded with the court to issue a notice to NAB and seek its reply and said he would then give his arguments on it.