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Zardari get permanent exemption from court appearance

Asif Ali Zardari

Pakistan, Islamabad News : The Accountability Court Islamabad on Saturday accepted a plea of former President Asif Ali Zardari seeking permanent exemption from the court appear in proceedings of NAB references against him.

Counsel of the former president, Amjad Qureshi, filed the petition, stating that his client could not turn up in the court owing to security concerns. The court accepted his plea.

During the proceeding, another counsel of the former president‚ Farooq H. Naik‚ prayed before the court for acquittal of Asif Ali Zardari in all five corruption references on the grounds that neither any concrete evidence against him could be found nor any of the eyewitness turned up in case hearings.

At which, the court issued notices to the National Accountability Bureau to appear in the next hearing on Feb 3 and file a formal response over Zardari’s plea for acquittal.

His cases were reopened by the NAB last year when after his immunity ended and tenure as head of the state concluded. He appeared in the court on Jan 9, but not charge-sheeted.

The references filed against the former president are:

Polo ground case: This reference builds upon the construction of a polo ground along with ancillary works at the Prime Minister House, which NAB says are illegal and in violation of the rights and privileges afforded to him.

SGS: This corruption case is the continuance of a reference filed in 1997 that accused the late Benazir Bhutto and her spouse Zardari to have gained off a contract between the SGS and the government.

ARY: This reference revolves around granting of trade licenses to ARY Traders for importing gold and silver which NAB says has caused losses to the treasury.

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