Zardari indicted, Nawaz declared absconder in Toshakhana reference

By: News Desk      Published: 10:52 AM, 9 Sep, 2020
Zardari indicted, Nawaz declared absconder in Toshakhana reference

An accountability court in Islamabad indicted ex-president Asif Ali Zardari and others while also declaring former prime minister Nawaz Sharif absconder in the Toshakhana reference, reported 24NewsHD TV channel Wednesday.

As the accountability court judge, Asghar Ali, questioned whether the accused were not pleading guilty, the defence counsel representing former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani argued that a prime minister enjoyed powers to endorse a summary.

He added that the National Accountability Court (NAB) misused powers to file the Toshakhana reference.

At this, Gilani – who along with Abdul Ghani Majeed and Anwar Majeed is also indicted in the reference – appeared at the rostrum and said that he had never committed any act which was against the rules.

He had approved the summary submitted before him and the NAB prepared the reference without keeping the rules of business in mind, added the former prime minister. The summary would not even have been moved if that was illegal, said Gilani.

However, the judge observed that the court wasn’t discussing merits of the case at the current stage. Argue the case during trial, he advised Gilani.

Meanwhile, the judge also sought the details of all the moveable and immovable properties of Nawaz within seven days, which would be confiscated if he failed to appear before the court. 

Before making the abovementioned decisions, the accountability court separated the case of Nawaz in the reference and later directed that the three NAB witnesses should record their statements at the next hearing scheduled for September 17. 

Zardari, Gilani and two other accused were present in the court for the hearing.

The NAB reference filed against Zardari and Nawaz, accusing them of obtaining cars from Toshakhana (gift depository) by paying 15 percent of the actual price.

It also alleged that Zardari also received cars as gifts from Libya and the UAE when he was president and used them for his personal use instead of depositing them in the treasury.

Gilani has been accused of facilitating Zardari and Nawaz in this matter by relaxing the procedure for acceptance and disposal of gifts.

Anwar Majeed and Khawaja Abdul Ghani Majeed, owners of the Omni Group, are also nominated as accused in the reference.

The anti-graft body says Nawaz was not holding any public office in 2008 but was given a vehicle without any justification.