Zardari files new plea to halt Park Lane reference trial

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KARACHI (News10) – Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday has filed a new petition in accountability court to halt proceedings of Park Lane reference.

During the hearing, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor raised objection over Zardari’s plea and termed it as a tactic to waste time of the court.

It is to be mentioned here that Park Lane case is being investigated under different sections of the National Accountability Ordinance, NAO 1999, and the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2010, for Zardari’s alleged involvement in extending loan and its misappropriation by M/s Parthenon Private Limited.

On March 20, the NAB Rawalpindi had handed over questionnaires comprising 54 questions each to Zardari and his son Bilawal in three cases including Park Lane Estate reference, and subsequently directed them to submit their response within 10 days.

On April 13, Zardari had submitted his written response to the NAB Rawalpindi on 54 questions in connection with three cases against him, including Park Lane Estate, Pink Residency, and fake accounts and money laundering.

In December 2019, former president Asif Ali Zardari was released on medical grounds after an accountability court in Islamabad issued separate robkars [mandamuses] in the Park Lane Estate Company and the money laundering through fake bank accounts cases against him.

NAB is conducting investigations in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the money laundering of billions through fake accounts case wherein it forwarded the joint investigation team (JIT) report with directions to investigate and file references.

Zardari — who was once jailed for 11 years for corruption — stepped down from the president’s office in 2013. But he has continued to serve as co-chairman of the opposition PPP.

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