Asif Ali Zardari indicted in Park Lane case reference via video link
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An accountability court in Islamabad has indicted former President of Pakistan and Pakistan People’s Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari in Park Lane case reference Monday in the absence of his lawyers via video link, 24NewsHD TV channel reported.
The court also charged accused Anwar Majeed who refused to plead guilty in this reference, the TV channel reported.
Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Azam Khan indicted the former president who has refused all charges against framed against him.
The Accountability Court Judge asked Asif Zardari what was his cast. PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari replied, “I am a Sindhi as I represent Sindh.”
He said: “My lawyer is not available to answer and still this accountability court has indicted me.”
The former president has once again questioned the indictment in the absence of his lawyer. Zardari said an accused always needs his lawyer’s assistance to answer in the court.
On this, Judge Azam Khan replied: “We will write in this order that your lawyer was absent when this court indicted you in this reference.”
The Accountability Court judge said to Zardari, “If your lawyer does not come, we will count him absent.”
Zardari asked the accountability court judge that he may write that my lawyer was present in the Supreme Court, yet he indicted me.
“You may also write a ruling that in case of absence of my lawyer I can fight my case, to which Judge Azam Khan replied how he can give that ruling.
The AC judge certified that he could not forcefully ask any lawyer to come and asked Zardari for not asking any ruling from himself.
Zardari pleaded that he is asking for a ruling because Judge Azam Khan is hearing the case.
Judge asked Zardari did he fraudulently obtain a loan of Rs 1.5 billion through the front company Parthenon to which the former president replied: “I reject all the allegations.”
He asked the accountability court Judge, “You may also come to Karachi and see this building by yourself.”
The PPP lawyers also expressed concern on the indictment. PPP leader Sherry Rehman said that the former president cannot be indicted in the absence of lawyers and the indictment is tantamount to violating legal rights.
Sherry Rehman said former president Zardari was imprisoned for 11 years.
“Asif Ali Zardari's fundamental rights are violated with this indictment and the attitude of accountability court is not a new thing for the PPP,” she added.
Sherry said everyone is questioning the accountability process of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) as the anti-graft watchdog has lost its credibility. She even questioned why there is so much haste in this accountability.
“The PPP will not back down from amending the NAB rules,” Sherry said.