Faryal Talpur’s physical remand extended until July 8

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Monday granted the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) 14-day physical remand of PPP leader Faryal Talpur to investigate a corruption case.

Talpur, sister of PPP co-Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, was nominated in a fake accounts case that is being probed by NAB. She was arrested by NAB on June 14 for alleged money laundering through fake accounts.

During today’s hearing, a NAB prosecutor told the court that Talpur had admitted that she transferred money to one Owais Muzaffar through the accounts, which are allegedly fake. The PPP leader had told the interrogators that she “did not know” that the accounts were fake, he said.

The NAB prosecutor said that Talpur had told them that the Zardari Group supplied sugarcane. The anti-corruption watchdog said it had to question Talpur regarding the statements of owners of land where the sugarcane was being grown.

The NAB prosecutor said that it was earlier claimed that the Omni Group had transferred payments after Zardari Group supplied them with sugarcane, but in recent interrogations, Talpur had said that she did not know which sugar mill sent her the money. According to her, she was aware that sugarcane had been sold but did not know which sugar mill had bought it.

Talpur told NAB that she had received payments from those who bought sugarcane, the accountability bureau’s counsel said. The anti-accountability watchdog needs to ascertain the validity of her statement by examining the records, he added.

Latif Khosa, who is part of Talpur’s legal team, said that her share in the Zardari Group was merely one per cent. Her lawyer, Farooq H. Naek, said that she had no role in the Park Lane corruption case either and that NAB was “mixing everything up”.

Khosa also asked why NAB was not taking action against Aleema Khan, who was nominated in a case pertaining to assets beyond known means.

“Make up [whatever cases] you want,” he said in court. “We (PPP) have been bearing this for 20 years.”

He also demanded NAB to provide a copy of its findings from Talpur’s interrogation so far.

During the course of the hearing, judge Arshad Malik called Talpur to the rostrum and asked her if NAB had taken her to a hospital. She said that a medical team had visited her to conduct an examination. She told the court that she suffered from diabetes and hypertension.

“People who are nominated in [any] case suffer from hypertension,” the judge remarked.

The court directed NAB to produce Talpur before court on July 8 and adjourned the hearing until then.