ISLAMABAD – Former president Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday filed a pre-arrest bail application in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), seeking its directives for barring the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from arresting him in an ongoing investigation into M/s Harish and Company scam.
The Combined Investigation Team (CIT) of the NAB Rawalpindi has summoned Zardari on May 16 for recording his statement in the case.
Earlier on May 9, the NAB had summoned him to record his statement in the same case; however he excused himself from appearing before the Combined Investigation Team (CIT) of the NAB Rawalpindi, seeking another date on the grounds that he was scheduled to appear before the Accountability Court on the same day.
The former president has obtained interim bail in five of the cases.
The NAB has already filed references in money laundering through fake bank accounts, Pink Residency and illegal award of water supply schemes against him.
It is pertinent to mention here that the NAB has alleged that M/s Harish and Company – which is believed to be the front company of the Park Lane Estate – had caused loss to the national exchequer.
It had taken a contract for water supply from the Special Initiative Department of Sindh government but no work was done on the project.
On May 9, an accountability court in Islamabad had adjourned hearing of the fake bank accounts case till May 21, while ordering to issue copies of the reference to the accused persons, including former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur.
Zardari, Talpur seek bail extension in fake accounts case
Meanwhile, Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on Wednesday (today) appear before the IHC for another extension in their interim bail in the fake bank accounts case.
Reportedly, strict security measures have been formulated and implemented around the court and its premises, and a heavy contingent of police has been deployed to prevent any untoward incident during the hearing.
On April 29, the court had extended their bail till May 15.
IHC’s two-member bench comprising of Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani had presided over the hearing of their application.
Entry of unauthorised persons into the court is restricted; however media persons are allowed to access the court room.
On April 13, Zardari had submitted his written response to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Rawalpindi on 54 questions in connection with three cases against him, including Park Lane Estate, Pink Residency, and fake accounts and money laundering.
Earlier, the case was being heard in a banking court in Karachi but had been shifted to an accountability court in Islamabad upon an appeal by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The Federal Investigation Agency had named Zardari, Talpur, Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed, his sons and other suspects in a charge sheet filed in the banking court in August 2018 for alleged money laundering of billions of rupees through fake bank accounts in three banks – Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Ltd.