ISLAMABAD    -   Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Azam Khan on Thursday reserved judgement in mega money laundering, fake accounts, Park Lane and Thatta water references on an application of Asif Ali Zardari for removal of his name from the references.

Asif Ali Zardari’s lawyers Farooq H Naik and Asad Abbasi appeared in the court during the hearing. However the former president was not present in the court.

Farooq H Naik in his arguments said he would like to start with the Thatta Water Supply Reference. He said the Chairman NAB didn’t have authority to file supplementary reference while no investigation and inquiry was conducted in subject case. He said the former president was not even called by NAB before filing the reference.

He argued that the partial challan could only be submitted in the criminal cases but there was no such provision in NAB Ordinance. He said the Supreme Court had directed to file this reference within two months but NAB could not file the reference within given timeframe.

He pleaded before the court that the reference should be quashed because the reference was illegal and based on the malice of NAB.

In response, the Deputy Prosecutor General NAB Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi said that there was no law that barred filing of supplementary reference. He said the Supreme Court’s decision in Panama reference was very clear. He said Farooq H Naik didn’t cite a single law which barred filing of supplementary reference.

He said it was not true that NAB did not call Asif Zardari in the case. “We have a copy of the notice given to the former president but no response to this notice has been received so far.”

The Deputy Prosecutor General NAB requested the court to dismiss the pleas of Asif Ali Zardari, after which Asif Zardari’s lawyer Farooq H Naik gave rebuttal arguments on which the court reserved its verdict that would be announced on Friday.

Meanwhile, another accountability court of Islamabad has issued notices on an application filed by the former president to declare NAB’s orders regarding freezing of 3 luxury vehicles that were obtained by Asif Ali Zardari from Toshakhana.

The lawyer of former president argued that the DG NAB Rawalpindi had ordered to freeze 3 luxury vehicles on July 22 2020 while the court had also endorsed the said order on August 17.

He argued that the whole process was done unilaterally and no notice was served to his client to hear his stance in the matter that is against the spirit of law and right of defence.

He informed the court that the vehicles were obtained by following all legal formalities while ordering to freezing them is also not the mandate of DG NAB Rawalpindi. The lawyer requested the court to declare the orders of DG NAB void.

The Accountability Court Judge Syed Asghar Ali issued notices over the application and adjourned the proceedings in the case till 24th of September