IHC grants Zardari interim bail on medical grounds in NAB inquiry

ISLAMABAD (APP): A division bench of Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday granted former president Asif Ali Zardari an interim bail on medical grounds in a NAB inquiry pertaining to suspicious transaction worth Rs8 billions.

 The bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani heard the pre-arrest bail case of Asif Zardari.

Zardari’s counsel Farouk H. Naek stated that the medical board had submitted its report regarding the health of former president in details. The bail petition had been filed on medical grounds, he said, adding that his client would cooperate with the NAB investigation.

To a query by the bench, the NAB’s Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzafar Abbasi said that the case was at the stage of investigation and reference was yet to file. He said that there were a total of four references filed against Asif Ali Zardari pertaining to fake accounts.

Justice Farouk asked Naek  that whether his client had also given application to shift the cases to Karachi courts to this the lawyer said that yes he had filed an application in this regard.

Justice Kiyani said that whether the NAB had filed any appeal to cancel the bail of Zardari in other case. Justice Kiyani asked that how many time the bureau would arrest the same person. The NAB prosecutor said that now the NAB inquiry had been conducted.

Naek stated that his client had been in custody of NAB for more than two month physical remand. Justice Kiyani said that the investigation officer was not one in fake accounts cases. There was a case of transaction worth Rs150 million against the petitioner.

Justice Farooq said that whether the petitioner had made payment against property. Farouk H. Naek said that the property was purchased but the NAB had declared the account as fake.

NAB prosecutor said that the land measured 1700 yard was on the name of petitioner.

Justice Kiyani asked the NAB whether it think that the accused could flee. The NAB prosecutor said that the co-accused in this case Mushtaq Ahmed was an employee of grade 15 who fled abroad. The former president had also made a special request to appoint Mushtaq Ahmed as secretary. 

The court asked the NAB that whether it had any objection over medical report. The opinion of medical board couldn’t be false, the court added, saying that the law was that the accused had to get back after his medical treatment.

Naek requested the court to grant bail to his client on medical grounds, adding that Asif Zardari was ready to join the NAB investigation.  He stated that his client’s  name was on ECL already and he was giving arguments just on bail petition. “We were ready to give undertaking that Asif Zardari would appear whenever the NAB investigators would summon him”, he said.

The court subsequently granted bail to Asif Zardari on medical grounds after listening arguments from both sides.