Zardari to be indicted in money laundering case on July 7

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court of Islamabad has decided to indict former president Asif Ali Zardari, Omni Group’s chairman Khawaja Anwar Majeed, Hussain Lawai and other accused in a mega money laundering reference on July 7. 

The reference is an offshoot of the fake accounts case. 

According to an order issued by accountability judge Mohammad Azam Khan, “because of the prevailing situation of [Covid-19] pandemic the presence of accused of the purpose of framing of charges will be procured through Skype/video link facility”. 

The order stated that accused Khawaja Anwar Majeed, who is in judicial custody at the district prison, Malir, and Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza and Mohammad Umair, who is in judicial custody in Adiala jail, Rawalpindi, may attend the court proceedings through video link. 

Skype or video link facility to be used for the presence of accused during the framing of charges 

However, the court directed other accused to appear in person during framing of charges. 

The court asked the registrar of the accountability court, Karachi, to ensure the identity of accused Khawaja Anwar Majeed under treatment at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Karachi. 

The court directed the registrar of the accountability court, Islamabad, to ensure identity of Lawai, Raza and Umair at Rawalpindi’s central prison. 

It asked the National Accountability Bureau, Karachi, to arrange the video link facility for procuring the attendance of Mr Majeed. 

An FIR in the case was lodged on July 6, 2018 by the Federal Investigation Agency, State Bank Circle, Karachi, under Sections 419, 420, 468, 471, 109 of the Pakistan Penal Code, read with Section 5(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1947, read with Sections 3 and 4 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010. It alleged that huge amounts of money are being laundered through fake and forged accounts by depositing and withdrawing the same. 

The companies and persons involved in the forged accounts were named in the FIR and it was alleged that the scam is worth about Rs4.145 billion. 

The accountability court has scheduled to indict Mr Zardari and others in the Park Lane case on June 26. 

The Park Lane land case is being investigated against Mr. Zardari for his alleged involvement in extending the loan and its misappropriation by M/s Parthenon Private Limited, M/s Park Lane Estate Private Limited and others.