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Court to indict Zardari, other accused in graft case via video link

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Friday once again deferred indictment of former president Asif Ali Zardari and other accused in a corruption reference until July 6.

Accountability Judge Moha­m­mad Azam Khan issued directives for making arrangements to enable the PPP co-chairman and other accused residing in Karachi, who are unable to appear before the court due to the coronavirus pandemic, to appear through video link on the next hearing.

At the outset of the hearing, Zardari through his lawyer Farooq H Naek filed an application seeking exemption from personal appearance in today’s hearing. The defence counsel stated that it is difficult for a senior citizen like his client to travel to Islamabad due to vulnerability in the wake of the coronavirus.

Read More: Money laundering case: AC to indict Zardari, others on July 7

He recalled former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani was diagnosed with the coronavirus after he appeared in a court.

At this, the judge told the lawyer that he (Farooq H Naek) too was appearing despite the contagion and asked if his life was not dear to him. “If you are appearing, then ask Asif Ali Zardari to appear as well,” he insisted.

Read More: NAB court defers Zardari’s indictment in Park Lane case

The court further questioned if the former president was in a hospital, to which Farooq H Naek replied that health experts had asked him to stay in hospital because of the pandemic but he is at his Karachi residence.

Zardari has been accused of being involved in “extending loan and its misappropriation by M/s Par¬the-non Private Limited, M/s Park Lane Estate Private Limited and others”.

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