ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party central leader Faryal Talpur on Saturday submitted a concise statement in the Supreme Court expressing no-confidence in the joint investigation team probing the alleged money-laundering scam through fake bank accounts.

She said that nominating her and her brother, Asif Ali Zardari in the alleged fake bank accounts case was the worst example of pre-poll rigging.

While expressing no-confidence in the JIT headed by Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director General Najaf Quli Mirza, she requested the Supreme Court to direct the FIA to appoint an impartial officer as the probe team head.

“Three officers of FIA are acting in collusion and in conspiracy with common criminal intention with each other against nominated respondent (Talpur) and her brother Zardari so as to have an adverse effect on the voters in the election to the benefit and in favour of GDA candidates,” advocate Farooq H Naek said submitting the concise statement on behalf of Talpur in pursuant to the suo moto notice in the alleged money-laundering scam.

The concise statement stated that the mistrust on JIT head Mirza had already been expressed during the hearing of the case in the top court.

Talpur said that Mirza was accused in an FIR by Zardari and the case was pending adjudication before an additional sessions judge adding that the proceedings against the case was stayed by the Sindh High Court in 2010, which was filed by Senator of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and co-accused Rana Maqbool Ahmed.

The statement said that neither Talpur nor Zardari were respondent as an accused in the FIR regarding alleged fake bank accounts. “As a consequence, it was mentioned by the top court in its order dated July 12 that only persons named as accused in criminal cases had been directed to be placed on the ECL and the interior ministry was directed to act accordingly,” the statement said.

On 21 July, FIA Assistant Director Muhammad Ali Abro filed an interim charge-sheet in the case before the Special Court (Offences in Banks) Sindh wherein Talpur and Zardari were mentioned as an absconding accused despite the fact that it was common knowledge that both were contesting election and they were neither concealing nor hiding themselves in any manner, the statement said.

It said that a Special Court (Offences in Banks) Sindh on July 21 accepted the interim charge-sheet.  Talpur in her statement said that in order to safeguard herself from malafide and illegal arrest, she approached the SHC for protective bail which was granted for six days.

She also on July 27 filed bail before arrest application before the special court which granted the interim bail.

However, it added, that Ali Abro issued another order of attendance on July 24 directing Talpur to appear before the JIT on July 28.

“As the respondent (Talpur) was busy before Special Court (Offences in Banks) Sindh in Karachi regarding furnishing of surety and compliance of requirements in this regard, she through her advocate letter dated 28-7-2018 informed Mr. Muhammad Ali Abro of FIA about her inability to appear before the JIT,” the statement said.

“The order of the Special Court wherein charge-sheet was accepted was challenged in the SHC upon which the notice has been issued to FIA and Additional Attorney General for August 9.”

“The respondent (Talpur) and Mr. Asif Ali Zardari are innocent and their names do not transpire in the FIR as an accused person, but however, Mr. Muhammad Ali Abro, Assistant Director, FIA malafidely with ulterior motives, without any lawful justification in order to harass, humiliate, disgrace, politically victimize, malign and defame them has nominated their names in the interim charge-sheet as absconding accused,” the statement said.

Talpur alleged that Abro was acting under the instructions and in conspiracy with Director General (DG) FIA Bashir Memon whose brother Naseer Ahmed Memon contested election on the ticket of Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) against the PPP candidate in PS-58.

She further alleged that DG FIA Memon appointed Mirza as head of JIT who himself was an accused in the FIR of 2005 filed by Zardari.

“It would not be out of place to mention here that Quli Mirza is a cousin of Zulfiqar Mirza who is inimical towards Zardari and contested the election on GDA Ticket against PPPP candidate,” it added.

“The entire exercise of registration of FIR and filing of interim charge sheet by nominating her and Zardari is with sole malafide intention and ulterior motives to malign and defame their reputation, before voters of their constituencies,” Talpur said. 

She further stated that her name and Zardari had been falsely incorporated in the interim challan with malafide intentions in order to defame and disparage their reputation and other candidates of PPPP which was evident from vast adverse coverage of the incident.

She said that her name and name of Zardari only appeared to the extent of Zardari Group (Pvt) Ltd, an alleged beneficiary, while both were not shown as a beneficiary in the FIR.

“Even otherwise Zardari has no role to play with respect to the business and other affairs of the said company. He is only a minor shareholder in the said company.”

She contended that the prosecution applied such sections of laws which were not attracted to her and Zardari as both were not a public servant.

It added that the allegations regarding cheating, forgery and money laundering had not been made against specific persons named by FIA in interim charge sheet adding that the FIR and interim charge sheet had not revealed any money laundering.

She also pointed out that since the suo moto proceedings had been initiated so any other proceeding would be in violation of respondents’ fundamental rights.

She further requested the top court to direct FIA to submit final challan before the special court with respect to all alleged fake accounts in the FIR within one month if the case within the ambit of law beyond a reasonable doubt was made out.

Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) on Saturday informed the top court that operation of bank accounts and transactions, maintained by the companies, did not fall within its regulatory ambit.

The SECP in its report in the alleged money-laundering case stated that it was mandated to regulate the corporate sector, capital market, non-banking finance companies and insurance sector and ancillary matters thereto.

“However, SECP does not have the mandate to oversee and regulate day to day transactions and business affairs of the companies it regulates,” the report said.

It added that the report of the FIA showed that various companies were allegedly involved in the offence of money laundering.

“Therefore, the SECP has also examined its record about the said companies and verified about management/board of directors of these companies along with their respective shareholding as per latest Form A and Form 29 of these companies.”

It further informed the top court that commission was in strong coordination with the FIA and providing full support in the matter adding that the FIA had asked for provision of documents pertaining to the companies allegedly involved and desired information was provided to the FIA.

Meanwhile, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in its application in the same case stated that sponsor shares of Summit Bank which was around 67% of the total shares were placed in blocked Central Depository Company of Pakistan (CDC) account.

It stated that the total equity of the Summit Bank Limited as per the latest available quarterly accounts as of March 31 was about Rs. 10.8 billion.

“The blocked shares constituting 67% of the total shareholding represent about Rs. 7.2 billion of equity per value. It is clarified that this amount is not deposited with the SBP however the shares representing this amount are blocked in CDC.”