Former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday secured interim bail from the Islamabad High Court in six corruption cases that are being probed by the country's anti-corruption watchdog. The 63-year-old Pakistan People's Party (PPP) co-chairperson is named in 36 inquiries and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) claims that his role has been established in at least eight cases, according to an 11-page report submitted by the bureau to the court on Tuesday.
A two-judge bench led by Justice Umar Farooq heard the cases regarding Zardari's pre-arrest bail in six different cases before granting interim bail to him and his sister Faryal Talpur. The court granted Zardari interim bail in the money laundering case until May 30. He was also granted an interim bail in inquiry pertaining to the Opal 225 property — that is owned by the Zardari group — until June 12 against surety bonds of Rs 500,000. He also received an interim bail in the Park Lane probe until June 12.
The IHC extended Zardari's interim bail in the Tosha Khana vehicles inquiry until June 20. In an investigation pertaining to suspicious transactions, Zardari's interim bail was extended until May 21. In a probe related to Harish and Company, the court adjourned the hearing until May 30.
Justice Farooq, during the hearing of the pleas, remarked that "it seems like there is a flood of bail (applications)". According to media reports, the NAB has issued arrest warrants for the former president only in the Park Lane case, while it has filed two interim cases against him.
The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is investigating more than 30 people in relation to money laundering from fictitious accounts, including Zardari and his sister Talpur. Several 'benami' accounts at multiple private banks were opened in 2013, 2014 and 2015 from where transactions worth billions of rupees were made, Geo News reported.
The amount, according to FIA sources, is said to be black money gathered from various kickbacks, commissions and bribes, it said, quoting FIA sources as saying. Zardari served as the 11th President of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013.
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