KARACHI  -  A local court on Saturday extended physical remand of Omni Group Chairman Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed in a money laundering case until August 27.

Due to absence of the banking court judge, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials produced accused Abdul Ghani before Additional District Judge (South)-VI). Another accused, Anwar Majeed , was not produced in the court. The FIA prosecutor informed the court that Anwar Majeed was hospitalised for medical treatment. The investigation office (IO) pleaded to the court to extend their remand for further interrogation.

The defence counsel, Advocate Jamshed Malik, opposed the investigation officer’s plea and submitted that there was no need for physical remand of the accused. He pleaded to the court to send the accused on a judicial remand. He stated that investigators wanted to collect evidence and other documents from banks and not from his client.

The counsel alleged that FIA investigators tortured his client mentally; they investigated him all night and did not allow him to sleep.

Malik’s lawyer pleaded to the court to issue orders for medical examination of his client, as he is facing the risk of brain haemorrhage. He also stated that his client Abdul Ghani was in a very critical condition due to internal bleeding. He requested the court to allow his client to be provided proper medical treatment at a private hospital.

However, the IO requested the court to extend physical custody of the accused for further interrogation. He added that more evidence needed to be gathered on pointation of the accused.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court rejected the plea of the defence counsel to shift the accused to a private hospital. However, the court ordered medical examination of the accused and told the authorities to submit report to the trial court. The court extended the remand of the accused and directed the IO to submit progress report at the next date of hearing.

Earlier, the banking court had issued non-bailable warrants for arrest of PPP Co-Chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari and others in the same case. The court also directed the authorities to produce them by September 4.

Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur along with 18 other suspects have been declared absconders in an interim charge sheet filed in the case. Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur had however obtained bail before arrest.

The fake accounts case revolves around a 2015 inquiry into suspicious transactions when 29 fake accounts were identified, 16 of them in Summit Bank, eight in Sindh Bank and five in United Bank Limited.

According to the FIA prosecution, seven people were found involved in suspicious transactions of Rs35 billion. Hussain Lawai, former chairman of the Pakistan Stock Exchange and a close aide of Zardari; Omni Group of Companies Chairman Anwar Majeed and his son Abdul Ghani Majeed and co-accused Taha Raza, head of the Summit Bank’s corporate unit, have been arrested in the case.