Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk: Former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was on Monday arrested by the top anti-corruption body of the country after the Islamabad High Court rejected Zardari’s and his sister’s bail application in a money-laundering case, reports said.
The National Accountability Bureau of Pakistan arrested the Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairman from Zardari House in Islamabad. He will reportedly be shifted to the NAB headquarters, where special room has been set up for him. He will be presented before the court on Tuesday.
As PPP supporters across the country rose to protest, Zardari’s son and party spokesperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari appealed them to maintain peace.
The Islamabad High Court on Monday rejected the plea for pre-arrest bail for Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in the fake bank accounts case.
A two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) rejected an application seeking extension in the pre-arrest bails of Zardari and Faryal Talpur. However, they could not be arrested immediately as the bench reserved the verdict and only announced it when the duo had left the court.
The arrest warrants were issued on Sunday by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the anti-corruption watchdog, which is probing them in the fake bank accounts case.
Zardari and Talpur, however, have an option to lodge appeal in the Supreme Court against the verdict.
The case pertains to the use of alleged fake bank accounts to keep money and transferring it out of Pakistan.
According to the NAB officials, the duo made transactions of Rs 150 million through alleged fake bank accounts.
The cases against Zardari are part of the investigations being conducted by NAB in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the money laundering of billions through fake accounts case.
On May 14, the anti-corruption unit furnished details of inquiries, investigations and references in the fake accounts case.
In the report, NAB listed down at least eight cases where Zardari’s link had been established. It further added that 22 inquiries and three investigations were underway while three references had been filed.
In December 2015, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) began a discreet investigation into certain bank accounts through which multi-billion rupee transactions were made.
By June, the FIA had several high-profile names on its list but was unable to make headway for several reasons.
The Supreme Court intervened and then chief justice Mian Saqib Nisar took notice of the ‘slow progress’ in the money-laundering case. In July, Zardari’s close aides Hussain Lawai, Taha Raza and two others were arrested.
The apex court also ordered the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to quicken the pace of the investigation. The JIT identified 11,500 bank accounts and 924 account holders at the start of their investigation.
Zardari and Talpur, however, do have an option to lodge appeal in the Supreme Court against the verdict, reports stated.