ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister, Faryal Talpur, pleaded not guilty on Monday to the charges framed on the two by an accountability court in a mega money-laundering case.
Justice Azam Khan presided over the hearing in the Islamabad court where Zardari, accompanied by his daughter Asifa, and Talpur were presented. However, the PPP leader’s lawyer, Farooq H Naik, was not there reportedly due to his commitment at the Supreme Court.
The court also indicted Anwar Majeed, the head of the Omni Group and another accused in the case who appeared through a video link. Majeed, however, pleaded not guilty.
The court further indicted Majeed’s son, Abdul Ghani, who was present in the courtroom and also pleaded not guilty.
Lawyers of two others accused in the case, including former Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) chairperson Hussain Lawai and banker Taha Raza, were given a copy of the charge sheet after being indicted by the court.
It should be noted that at the last hearing, the court had dismissed Zardari’s pleas in the fake accounts cases, as well as three corruption references, and ordered he be indicted, noting that he could not be acquitted.
On the other hand, the PPP co-chairman challenged the mega money-laundering and Park Lane reference trials in the Islamabad High Court, seeking acquittal in both.
Meanwhile, the accountability court postponed the indictment of the former president in the Park Lane and Thatta Water Supply references till October 5.
While responding to media queries upon indictment in the multi-billion rupee money-laundering scam, Asif Zardari said he has been to these paths earlier as well.
When asked whether PPP will stand by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif according to the decisions taken by the All Parties Conference, Zardari responded saying: “Inshallah”.
Bilawal calls it ‘victimization’
Furthermore, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has termed the indictment of Asif Zardari as “victimization” and said while the opposition is facing court cases, the cabinet members and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister were not summoned because there are two laws in the country.