Zardari, Talpur skip FIA hearing, want removal of JIT head

Zardari, Talpur skip FIA hearing, want removal of JIT head

Karachi (Staff Report): Former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on Saturday once again failed to appear before a joint investigation team (JIT) probing a money-laundering case against them.

The PPP leaders have requested the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to form a new JIT due to their reservations against the current team head Najaf Mirza.

The counsel for Faryal Talpur Farooq H. Naik on her behalf raised the objections against the JIT head and requested the FIA to form a new investigation team.

The lawyer said that his client wants to “fully cooperate with the FIA". "However, she will not appear before the JIT today as she is currently in Larkana to submit the details of her assets."

Asif Ali Zardari, on being declared absconder in July, accused Director General FIA Bashir Memon of holding a grudge against Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

He had termed the probe against him as "political victimisation" and claimed that the FIA DG was working on an anti-PPP agenda.

The Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) is investigating alleged fake bank accounts from which money was laundered and has named PPP leaders Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur , among the 32 suspects.

On July 21, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) declared former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur absconders in money laundering case.

The FIA submitted challan of the case against Hussain Lawai and other suspects in the court. Besides the PPP co-chairman and his sister, 18 others including chairman of a private bank and Anwar Majid and his son were also declared absconder in the challan.

A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar had taken suo motu notice into the FIA’s probe of Rs35 billion money-laundering scam.

Hussain Lawai, who is a famous banker and Pakistan Stock Exchange Chairman and Asif Ali Zardari’s close aide, was arrested by the Federal Investigation Agency earlier this month in the money-laundering case.

He is accused of helping to facilitate the opening of 29 ‘fake’ accounts in Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and United Bank Limited.

On July 12, the Supreme Court (SC) denied issuing any order to place the names of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on the Exit Control List (ECL) in the fake accounts case.

The bench resumed hearing of a suo motu case pertaining to money laundering of Rs35 billion through fake bank accounts.

During the proceedings, the court clarified that the apex court had neither summoned Zardari and Talpur in personal capacity nor issued order to put their names on the ECL.

The Interior Ministry had placed the names of Zardari and his sister Talpur on the ECL on July 11.

Seven individuals, including Zardari and Talpur , were said to be involved in using certain bank accounts for suspicious transactions totalling Rs35 billion.

According to the FIA’s list, the beneficiaries of the account are former president Asif Ali Zardari, his sister, Faryal Talpur , Nasir Abdullah, Omni Polymer Packages, Pak Ethanol Private Limited, Ansari Sugar Mills, Chimber Sugar Mills, Agro Farm Thatta, Parthenon Private Limited, A1 International, Lucky International, Logistic Trading, Royal International and Umair Associate.