Toshakahana case: AC indicts Zardari, Gilani, declares Nawaz as proclaimed offender

Toshakahana case: AC indicts Zardari, Gilani, declares Nawaz as proclaimed offender

Islamabad (Web Desk): An accountability court on Wednesday indicted Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari and former premier Yousaf Raza Gillani and declared Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo and former premier Nawaz Sharif as proclaimed offender in Toshakhana reference.

Accused Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed were also indicted. All the four accused, including former president Zardari and former premier Gillani, pleaded not guilty.

Former president Asif Zardari and ex-premier Yousaf Raza Gillani appeared in the hearing which was heard by the accountability court’s judge Asghar Ali.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed a reference with the Accountability Court in March against the accused on the alleged violation of the rules of the Toshakhana (state gift repository) which it argued had caused a heavy loss to the national exchequer.

NAB alleged that Yousuf Raza Gillani, in order to extend illegal benefit to the accused, allowed them to keep luxury vehicles gifted to them by foreign dignitaries by relaxing the procedures governing their use.

NAB had also alleged Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif of getting cars from former PM Yousaf Raza Gillani through illegal way.

As per the NAB prosecutor, Zardari had only paid 15 percent cost of the cars by using his fake accounts, however, Libya and United Arab Emirates (UAE) also gifted him cars when he was serving as president.

He claimed that the former president used these cars for his personal work instead of submitting them to Toshakhana.

The representative of the anti-graft body stated that Nawaz Sharif got car without any application in 2008 when he was not holding any public office.

During the hearing, former prime minister Gilani, while objecting to the hearing came on to the rostrum himself to present his stance.

He said he never did anything against the rules. "Only a summary that came according to the law was approved. Had the summary been wrong, it would not have been moved," Gilani maintained.

The accountability court judge responded that action will be taken as per the law. "We are not yet discussing the merits of the case, or how the summary came and was approved. You have to tell this to the court during the trial," he added.

The court adjourned the hearing till September 24 after ordering NAB to present its witnesses.