Zardari’s acquittal in references: NAB seeks adjournment of appeals

By: 24 News
Published: 03:49 PM, 16 May, 2022
File photo.
Caption: File photo.
Stay tunned with 24 News HD Android App
Get it on Google Play

The National Accountability Bureau on Monday once again sought more time for presenting its arguments in the pleas challenging PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s acquittal in bureau’s 25-year-old references, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

A two-judge bench of Islamabad High Court headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah and comprising Justice Sardar Ijaz Ishaq Khan heard the appeals on Monday. 

At the start of the hearing, the anti-graft body sought more time for giving its arguments in appeals against the exoneration of former president Zardari in the Ursus tractors deal, ARY Gold case, Cotecna and the Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) references.

Irked by NAB’s practice of seeking more time for its arguments, CJ Minallah remarked that it looked like that the bureau was interested in the proceedings of its appeals. He warned NAB that the court was giving it the last chance. If NAB could not present its arguments, then the court would assume that the anti-graft watchdog was not serious in pursuing its appeals

During last hearing on the appeals on May 14, the NAB requested the IHC to grant it more time for bringing its arguments. But today the watchdog again sought more time which had annoyed CJ Minallah. 

The NAB prosecutor told the court that the main problem was that in two appeals, prosecutors were not available. One prosecutor was not in service and the other was transferred to Sukkur.

He said that the bureau asked him to request the court to adjourn the case. 

On the query of CJ that whether the bureau was interested in the proceedings of its appeal, the NAB prosecutor told the court that the bureau wanted to pursue its appeals

The chief justice further asked the NAB prosecutor whether he had read the court order of Nov 15, 2021 or did he know what was written in it? 

The CJ remarked if the NAB prosecutor had read the court order he would not have filed appeals against it. 

With this, the court adjourned the case till June 13. 

The NAB challenged Zardari’s acquittal in its references including Ursus tractors deal, ARY Gold case, Cotecna and the Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) cases.

In December 2014, an accountability court had acquitted the PPP co-chairman in ARY Gold and Ursus Tractor corruption references

Next year, in Nov 2015, the Islamabad accountability court had also exonerated Zardari in other NAB references viz SGS-Cotecna references on the want of evidence. 

Seven years ago, the NAB filed appeals challenging Zardari’s acquittal in its references

Reporter Ehtisham Kiyani