KARACHI - A banking court on Wednesday granted B class (better class) prison to Hussain Lawai, close aide of former president Asif Ali Zardari, in a case pertaining to illegal transaction of at least Rs35 billion through fake accounts.

The main suspect in money laundering case, Hussain Lawa, former Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) chairman has moved an application sought B class in the prison. The trail court has allowed his plea.

A day earlier, the court had reserved the judgment on the plea after hearing final arguments from both sides. 

Earlier, defence counsel had submitted that his client has been under treatment at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) after suffering a heart attack. He pleaded the court that Lawai needs proper medical treatment and required medical facilities as he is suffering from heart disease.  Lawai’s counsel also requested the court to order the jail authorities to provide proper medical treatment to his client.

Last week, the trail court had rejected bail pleas of Lawai and another suspect, Taha Raza in the same case and observed that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was carrying out an investigation into the case, thus “the bail pleas cannot be approved at this stage.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari and his system are also among the accused in the high profile money laundry case, and both are on interim bail.

The high profile money laundering case was initially registered in 2015 against former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai, who is widely believed to be a friend of former president Zardari.

Later, seven individuals, including Zardari and Talpur, were said to have been found involved in using those accounts for suspicious transactions which totaled Rs35 billion. The accounts were allegedly used to channel funds received through kickbacks.

The main suspects Lawai and banker Taha Raza were booked for allegedly facilitating the opening of 29 ‘fake’ accounts through which the money was allegedly laundered through different companies, including M/s Zardari Group.

In its interim charge sheet, the FIA had declared the former president, MPA Faryal Talpur, Anwar Majeed, Abdul Ghani Majeed, Aslam Masood, Mohammad Arif Khan, Adeel Shah Rashidi, Nasser Abdullah Hussain, Mohammad Ashraf, Adnan Jawed, Mohammad Umair, Iqbal Arain, Qasim Ali, Shahzad Ali, Azam Wazir Khan, Sher Mohammad Mugheri, Zain Malik, Mohammad Iqbal Khan Noori, Nimr Majid and Mustafa Zulqernain absconders.