Zardari’s indictment in Park Lane reference deferred

Next court hearing on 14th: Defence files plea that accountability court cannot indict the accused

By: News Desk      Published: 12:03 PM, 6 Jul, 2020
Zardari’s indictment in Park Lane reference deferred
File photo.

An accountability court in Islamabad delayed the indictment of former president Asif Ali Zardari in Park Lane reference through video link and adjourned further hearing till July 14, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Monday.

Zardari and another accused Anwar Majeed participated in the hearing via video link from Bilawal House and NICVD (National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases) Karachi respectively. Meanwhile, three other accused – M Farooq Abdullah, Saleem Faisal and Sher Ali – joined the hearing from the Accountability Court No 4, Karachi.

The decision to delay indictment came as the defence counsel, Farooq H Naek, filed an application with an argument that the accountability court could not indict the accused and requested the court to give him some time for preparation of the case.

When the NAB Prosecutor General, Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi, opposed the request, Naek questioned why the anti-graft agency was in a hurry. “We should be given a reasonable time. We are not asking for a stay order,” Naek added.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, the court fixed the case for July 14, asking the NAB to submit its response on the application on the next hearing.

During the hearing, Zardari asked his lawyer what was happening and about the process. Naek told him that there won’t be any indictment till the decision on their application. The trial was to begin after that, he responded to another question.

Later, Naek told media that his client was no more a director of the Park Lane Private Limited Company since 2005 and had nothing to do with Parthenon (Pvt) Limited.

He claimed that the bank had intentionally filed a case in banking court over default. “We have filed an application that the accountability court does not have the authority to hear the case,” Naek said.

The senior counsel said Zardari had nothing to do with the company that obtained the loan.

About the former president’s health condition, he said his client suffered from several diseases and the doctor had sent him to home because of his illness and age.

The accountability court had earlier decided on June 26 to postpone the indictment till July 6 (Monday) when Zardari and other accused were to be indicted via video link.