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Zardari indicted in Park Lane, Thatta Water Supply references

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Monday indicted former president Asif Ali Zardari in the Thatta Water Supply and Park Lane references.

The PPP leader and others nominated in the references appeared before the court in a hearing presided over by judge Azam Khan. During the hearing, the former president was presented with the charge sheet of the references while other suspects were provided a copy of the indictments.

The court framed charges against Zardari in the two references. A total number of 19 persons were indicted in the Park Lane reference, while 15 were indicted in the Thatta Water Supply reference.

Zardari pleaded not guilty to the charges and opted to contest them. The court directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to present witnesses in the Park Lane reference by 20th October and in the Thatta Water Supply reference by 21st October.

The court had indicted Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur on 28th September in the mega-money laundering reference.

The Thatta Water Supply is a supplementary reference, part of the fake bank accounts and mega money-laundering scam references filed by NAB against Zardari.

It should be noted that Nadeem Bhutto, in-charge of Naudero House, was arrested in Thatta Water Supply Reference. Asif Zardari was named as the accused after the interrogation of Nadeem Bhutto.

The reference states that illegal contracts for Thatta Water Supply were awarded. As a result of the contracts, the money kept coming into Nadeem Bhutto’s accounts through fake accounts and Nadeem Bhutto continued to manage Nodero House with this money.

In the Park Lane reference, Asif Ali Zardari is accused of causing a loss of Rs 3.77 billion to the national exchequer through fake bank accounts. Other accused in the reference include PPP senators Usman Saifullah, Anwar Saifullah, and Saleem Saifullah.

Read more: Notices sent to NAB, SBP on Zardari’s petition

According to NAB sources, the actual value of about 2,500 kanals of land purchased in Islamabad is Rs 2 billion but it was bought for only Rs 62 crore.

The reference filed against the PPP co-chairman and co-accused consists of 13 pages. The text of the reference states that the Park Lane Company made an anonymous property in Karachi through the front company Parthenon.

With the loan money, eight floors were constructed in IBC Center. Initially, a loan of Rs 1.5 billion was taken which increased to Rs 4 billion. Debt irregularities were committed and the accused conspired to damage the treasury.

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