Fake accounts case: Zardari, Bilawal record statements before NAB

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and former president Asif Ali Zardari recorded statements before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the fake accounts case, on Wednesday.

According to reports, Bilawal Bhutto, was questioned for 40 minutes in a case pertaining to the Park Lane Estate Company.

Sources said that the Bilawal told NAB officials he was unaware of the financial transactions of this company.

Similarly, former president Asif Ali Zardari was also questioned on the Zardari Group for approximately 50 minutes.

Bilawal and Zardari were separated at the NAB headquarters and are being questioned by two separate investigation teams led by DG NAB Rawalpindi Irfan Mangi.

Sources have informed that NAB recorded the questioning (video and audio) of Bilawal and Zardari and a questionnaire was also supposed to be given to Bilawal Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari.

Upon arriving at the headquarters, Asif Ali Zardari’s vehicle was allowed to enter the premises as he is the former president, while the Bilawal’s vehicle was stopped at the gate. NAB officials wanted Bilawal to walk inside but he refused. Later, the PPP chairman’s vehicle was allowed to enter the premises.  Aseefa Bhutto Zardari accompanied her brother.

PPP workers from across the country reached the federal capital to express solidarity with the party chairman. A large number of PPP workers were present outside the NAB headquarters, while several others were arrested by the police.

While talking to media after his appearance, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said NAB was created for political engineering and adding that it was our fault and weakness and we did not change this dark [NAB] law during our tenure in government.

The case for which I was summoned, I became a shareholder of that company when I was younger than one year old. These people are staring my accountability from that age.” 

Bilawal added that they would get notices after making speeches in the National Assembly but this did not scare them.“We will continue to raise our voices against outlawed organisations. We will continue to demand the resignation of those three federal cabinet ministers who are associated with banned organisations.”

Last week, a banking court in Karachi had ordered the transfer of the case to Islamabad and summoned Zardari and Bilawal on March 20.

Yesterday on Tuesday, the Sindh High Court (SHC) granted a 10-day protective bail to Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur but rejected their request to issue a stay order against a banking court’s decision allowing NAB to transfer the fake bank accounts case to Rawalpindi.

Turning down Zardari’s request to issue a stay order against the banking court’s ruling, the SHC bench issued notices to the NAB prosecutor and director general of NAB Karachi office summoning a response from them within a week. The court further said a decision on the matter will be taken after listening to all parties in the case.

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan People Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his father and former president Asif Ali Zardari will appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Park Lane Estate case on Wednesday (today).

According to reports, a NAB team will likely question the Bilawal and Zardari regarding the case. The PPP leadership has directed party leaders and workers to reach the federal capital to express solidarity with them.

Strict security arrangements have been made in and around the old NAB headquarters building to avoid any untoward incident.

Earlier, on March 19, the Sindh High Court (SHC) had granted protective bail for ten days to the former president in the fake bank accounts and Park Lane cases against a surety of Rs1 million each. It also accepted the bail plea from Faryal Talpur in the money laundering case for Rs1 million.

Former president and his sister Faryal Talpur along with their lawyer Farooq H Naek appeared in the court.

A banking court in Karachi had last week transferred the money laundering case against the former president, his sister and others to Rawalpindi on a request by NAB.

The court also cancelled the interim bail of the 19 suspects, including the PPP leaders in the case.  The court directed the authorities to return surety amount to the suspects.

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