Toshakhana case: Zardari appears before accountability court

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ISLAMABAD : Former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Monday appeared before an accountability court in Toshakhana reference.

Wearing a face mask and face shield as part of measures to keep coronavirus at bay, the former president turned up in court as Accountability Judge Asghar Ali resumed hearing the case.

PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, his sister Aseefa Bhutto and some party leaders also reached the accountability court to show solidarity with the former president. The party leadership had directed its members of the Parliament and People’s Lawyers Forum to reach Islamabad.As part of stringent security measures, police closed the roads leading to the court and allowed lawyers and some of the party leaders and supporters who arrived there to proceed to the court building. Some party leaders complained of being denied access to the court.

The accountability court had summoned the former president to appear before it today. Asif Ali Zardari reached Islamabad from Karachi on Sunday as the People’s Party decided to show its political muscle during the hearing of the case.

The court issued warrants for Zardari in Toshakhana accountability reference. Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani has been granted exemption from appearance in hearing of the reference.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who has also been named in the reference, challenged his summoning by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Toshakhana reference in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Toshakhana reference

The NAB had filed a reference with the accountability court against the former heads of the state and governments for not depositing luxury vehicles and valuable gifts received from the foreign leaders in the treasury.

Zardari had received expensive cars as a gift from Libya and the UAE as president but did not deposit it in the Tosha Khana, the sources added.

The reference states that Zardari and Sharif obtained cars from Toshakhana by paying 15 per cent of the price of the cars. The bureau further alleged that Gilani facilitated Zardari and Nawaz in this regard.