13 accused including Asif Zardari indicted in Park lane reference, the accused pleaded not guilty

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ISLAMABAD:   Accountability Court (AC) Islamabad has indicted 13 accused including former president Asif Zardari, Husain Lawai and Abdul Ghani Majid in Park Lane Reference while all the accused have pleaded not guilty.

AC Islamabad led by Judge Azam Khan took up the case for hearing Monday.
The presence of all the accused persons was marked through video. Junior lawyer of Farooq H Naik appeared in place of Naik.

Deputy prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi represented NAB. Counsels of two accused including Iqbal Khan and Taha Raza filed petitions for staying of the indictment proceedings.

The court while rejecting this petition remarked if you were to file the petition you should have filed them earlier. What were you doing till now.

Judge Azam Khan remarked “were you waiting for today. Today the indictment will be imposed by grace of God.

The counsels for Iqbal and Talha Raza prayed the court they have not been allowed to meet the accused. They should be allowed to meet them before their indictment.

The judge AC remarked let the indictment be imposed first and then we will issue orders and then you may meet the accused.

Asif Zardari informed the court through video link his counsel is not present today therefore, he should not be indicted today. My counsel has to give reply in place of me.

Judge Azam Khan remarked “Allegations will be read out to you. You can either accept them or otherwise.

Asif Zardari replied to the court I have been facing such cases since 30 years. I know all therefore, I am saying so.

The court remarked if you know all then you should have no objection.

Asif Zardari told the court “ I know all therefore, I am saying so. The presence of counsel is must. You give the decision that Asif Zardari does not need counsel.

Judge Azam Khan said “ I cannot give this decision. Nor I can force your counsel to come. Only accused is needed for indictment. You are present. We have issued notice to your lawyer. He should have come.

Asif Zardari told the court his counsel is present in the Supreme Court (SC), therefore, he has not come.
Judge read out indictment “ you obtained the money fraudulently and transferred it to your account.. Through pay orders you transferred this money to fake accounts. You misused your powers as president with your co-accused. You framed front company Parthenon to obtain loan malafidely. You in the capacity of president of Pakistan exercised influence and got released loan amount. You were director of Park Lane company. You worked out plan for fraud. You framed front company to cover up illegal things .

Zardari pleaded not guilty.

Asif Zardari said to court on Video link that “I gave Pakistan 18th amendment therefore, cases are being framed to pressurize me so that I could withdraw. The courts should give decisions impartially. Law is equal for all. It is better if court pursues the principles.

The other accused including Anwar Majid, Hussain lawai, Sher Ali Farooq Abdullah , Salim Faisal, Muhammad Hanif and others who were indicted also pleaded not guilty. Three accused including Younis Qudwai, Aziz Naeem and Iqbal Memon are proclaimed offender in this case.

The court while ordering NAB to present witnesses against Asif Ali Zardari on September 01 summoned 3 witnesses.

The hearing of the case was adjourned till September 01.