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NAB submits reply in SHC for transferring money laundering case

KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday submitted its reply in the Sindh High Court (SHC) over transferring mega money laundering case, ARY News reported.

The SHC took up appeals of former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur and others against the banking court’s decision of transferring the money laundering case from Karachi to Rawalpindi.

A two-member division bench headed by SHC Chief Justice Ahmed Ali M Sheikh heard the case.

SHC CJ Justice Sheikh asked NAB prosecutor to submit reply.

The prosecutor said that the institution has filed its reply and completely ready to initiate arguments.

 

The NAB, in its reply, opposed pleas challenging the decision of a banking court which allows transfer of the money laundering case. The institution said that the transfer of the case was completely ‘legal’ while the pleas were filed only to create interrupt trial and misleading the court.

The anti-corruption watchdog termed that the review petition against the decision as ‘non-maintainable’ as the banking court’s verdict was based on guidelines given by the Supreme Court (SC) on February 7.

“NAB has continued its investigation in accordance with law.” It added that money laundering case and NAB references have close connections in the ongoing investigation.

The top court had directed the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to hold an inquiry with coordination of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the reply said. The Supreme Court had directed to file references in accountability court,” it added.

NAB pleaded the high court to reject all petition.

The judge questioned defence lawyer, Farooq H. Naek, whether he was ready to commence arguments. Naek sought time to read out the NAB’s reply before initiating arguments in the case.

The SHC directed lawyers of the petitioners to appear in next hearing with complete preparations.

Later, the hearing was adjourned till April 2.

Previous hearing

In the previous hearing, the SHC had issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to submit comments on the appeals challenging the banking court’s verdict that transferred the money laundering case against them to Islamabad.

The bench rejected a request by Zardari’s lawyer, Farooq H Naek to summon the relevant record of the case.

The counsel contended before the court that the Supreme Court had issued no directions with regard to the case transfer to Islamabad. “This case doesn’t fall within the ambit of NAB.”

Banking court’s verdict challenged

Zardari and his sister had filed the petitions on March 16 assailing the banking court’s verdict. They termed it as ‘unlawful’ and ‘unconstitutional’ and pleaded to the high court to declare the decision as void.

Apart from the PPP leaders’ petitions, Omni Group owner Anwar Majeed and his son Ghani Majeed also filed the petitions in the SHC challenging the verdict.

Transfer of case

The banking court had last week transferred the case against the former president and others to Rawalpindi on a request by NAB.

The court also cancelled interim bail of the 19 suspects in the case. Following the ruling, NAB issued notices to Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, directing them to appear before its Rawalpindi office on March 20. The court directed the authorities to return the surety amount to the suspects.

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