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After Arrest, Former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Sent on 10-day Physical Remand

Zardari, 63, and his sister are two of the main accused in the money laundering scandal that utilised fake bank accounts to channel illegally gained funds out of the country.

PTI

Updated:June 11, 2019, 5:05 PM IST
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After Arrest, Former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Sent on 10-day Physical Remand
File photo of former president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari (Image: Getty Images)

Islamabad: Former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari was sent on a 10-day physical remand by an accountability court here on Tuesday, a day after he was arrested in a multi-million dollar money laundering case. A team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) arrested the Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman hours after the Islamabad High Court rejected his bail plea.

Zardari, 63, and his sister are two of the main accused in the money laundering scandal which utilised fake bank accounts to channel illegally gained funds out of Pakistan.

According to the NAB officials, the duo made transactions of Rs 150 million through alleged fake bank accounts. The arrest warrants were issued on Sunday by the NAB, the anti-corruption watchdog, which is probing them in the fake bank accounts case. Zardari was brought to the court on Friday by a team of the accountability bureau. During the court proceedings,the NAB requested 14-day physical remand for Zardari, which was opposed by his counsel Farooq H Naek.

NAB officials had requested the court for 14-day physical remand of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader. NAB prosecutor Muzaffar Abbasi informed the court that fake bank accounts were opened with the help of bank officials. Abbasi said that Zardari had been arrested and his remand was necessary for investigation.

Zardari requested the court for more facilities in the NAB prison. He also requested for an attendant and medical facilities. The court has ordered Zardari to be presented before the court on June 21, Geo TV reported.

At least 500 police personnel were being deployed around the federal capital for security purpose. At least 300 policemen were deployed outside the NAB headquarters, while roads leading to accountability court remained closed for all kind of traffic. Prior to his arrival at the court, a three-member team of doctors conducted a medical examination of the former president. According to the NAB sources, Zardari was found to be fit for physical remand. The report was presented to the accountability court judge in his chambers.

Zardari, the 11th President of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013, has denied any link with the fake accounts. He has said the allegation was part of a vilification campaign by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party to malign opposition leaders. He was elected as a member of the National Assembly from the NA-213 Nawabshah seat of Sindh province in last year's general election.

Zardari's arrest prompted a strong reaction from the Opposition and sporadic protests by PPP workers in various parts of the country, mostly in the party-ruled Sindh province. Terming his father's arrest an act of political victimisation by the government, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said the Constitution guarantees the right of fair trial to every citizen. He appealed to party workers to remain calm and wait for party directives.

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