Islamabad, August 10
An anti-corruption courtroom in Pakistan on Monday indicted former president Asif Ali Zardari by video hyperlink in a graft case the place he was accused of influencing authorities to launch loans to entrance corporations.
As Zardari couldn’t seem within the courtroom as a result of “illness”, the indictment was carried out by video hyperlink, which was the primary such indictment within the judicial historical past of the nation.
The 63-year-old husband of the nation’s first lady prime minister Benazir Bhutto appeared earlier than the courtroom by video hyperlink from Bilawal House in Karachi.
Judge Muhammad Azam Khan of the accountability courtroom in Islamabad indicted him and 9 different accused within the Park Lane case.
During the listening to, Zardari maintained that his attorneys are on the Supreme Court and he can’t be indicted within the absence of his attorneys.
However, the courtroom dismissed this and remarked that Zardari could be indicted regardless, and his attorneys would merely be marked absent if they didn’t seem earlier than the courtroom.
The indictment has paved the way in which for the correct trial to start.
Other outstanding accused within the case embody the Omni Group chief Anwar Majeed, Sher Ali, Farooq Abdullah, Saleem Faisal and Muhammad Hanif.
All of the accused, together with the previous president and Anwar Majeed, maintained innocence and pleaded not responsible earlier than the courtroom.
According to the indictment, Zardari influenced the related authorities throughout his tenure as president to launch loans to entrance corporations. He was accused of being a director of the Park Lane firm and planning to commit fraud.
The former president allegedly bought his entrance firm, Parthenon Private Limited, a mortgage of Rs 1.5 billion with unwell intention, and the cash was then transferred for his private use by faux accounts.
The National Accountability Bureau accused the previous president of inflicting the nationwide exchequer a lack of Rs 3.77 billion within the case.
In the 13-page NAB case towards Zardari and different accused, the anti-graft watchdog alleges that the accused created properties in faux names by Park Lane Company utilizing Parthenon Private Limited because the entrance firm.
Zardari has stated the allegation was a part of a vilification marketing campaign by Imran Khan-led ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) social gathering to malign the Opposition leaders. — PTI