KARACHI  -  A local court Wednesday extended physical of Zardari’s close aide and former chairman of Pakistan Stock Exchange Hussain Lawai and Taha Raza until July 14.

The investigation officer produced the accused before the judicial magistrate (South) and pleaded to extend their physical remand for further interrogation. The IO submitted that after suo moto notice taken by the Supreme Court regarding money laundering, the evidences are being collected.

The FIA official submitted that the black-money, those was transferred illegally, was not owned by the accused Hussain Lawai, but he knows the culprits who were behind such activities. The official also informed the court that the accused, Lawai had never cooperated with the investigation team during inquiry about the matter of money laundry.

According to the FIA official 28 more bank accounts are required to be traced on the pointation of the accused. He said that several people, including Lawai, are being investigated for laundering billions of rupees through ‘benami’ or fictitious bank accounts.

Lawai counsel, Shaoukat Ayat advocate opposed the IO plea and submitted that there was no need for further interrogation; he added that the FIA had reopened the inquiry that remained closed some three to four years ago.

The court refused the accused plea and granted the IO request and extended the physical remand of the accused and directed to submit updated interrogation report in the next hearing.  

Advocate Hyder Imam Rizvi has also submitted bail plea on behalf of Hussain Lawai, and submitted that the custody of his client was illegal as FIA has initiated interrogation without completing their inquiry.  The court was informed that the accused, Hussain Lawai will be shifted to Islamabad for further investigation in a money laundering probe, where he would be investigated by senior FIA authorities and would be produced before the apex court.

The FIA, on July 6, had arrested the accused on a mega money-laundering scandal involving Rs35 billion.

According to the prosecution, the accused were involved in facilitating the opening of 29 ‘fake’ accounts in the Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited, billions of rupees were deposited into the said fake accounts and subsequently transferred to different accounts including that of PPP Chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur’s company, Zardari Group, which is shown to have received Rs15 million. the biggest transfer made out of the alleged fake accounts was to an Arab national, Nasser Abdulla Hussain Lootah, who is the chairman of the Summit Bank’s board of directors.