ISLAMABAD: An Accountability Court (AC) Monday adjourned till December 23rd 2013, The corruption references filed against former President Asif Ali Zardari by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), During the hearing today (Monday)‚ the court summoned Asif Ali Zardari in the next hearing.
The cases against Asif Ali Zardari, who enjoyed immunity for being head of the state in the past, have been reopened by the NAB are: ARY Gold reference, SGS-Cotecna, Polo Ground reference, Ursus Tractors case and Asset case. ( Mentioned in detail Below )
Today, the former president did not appear before the AC judge Muhammad Bashir who was hearing the cases.
Asif Ali Zardari was likely to be indicted today in one of the references.
However, Zardari’s counsel Farooq H.Naik turned up and apprised the judge that his client did not appear over security reasons. He told the court that Zardari would appear in next hearing with appropriate security.
The court also called witnesses in three different cases, but adjourned the case till December 23rd 2013 .
While speaking to media afterwards, Naik claimed that Asif Ali Zardari has been receiving threats, therefore, he did not appear in the court today.
NAB references: Accountability court summons Zardari on December 23rd 2013.
Asif Ali Zardari
• Polo ground case – One pending reference surrounds the illegal construction of the polo ground and other ancillary works at the Prime Minister House, which are in violation of rules and procedure. In this case, the court had acquitted Saeed Mehdi, while the case against Shafi Sehwani, the former chairman of Capital Development Authority, was withdrawn following his death.
• SGS – In July 2011, pronouncing its verdict in the 13-year-old graft case commonly known as the SGS reference, an accountability court absolved all the accused, except Zardari.
In the SGS reference filed in 1997, it was alleged that then prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her spouse had received kickbacks in a pre-shipment contract between the government and SGS.
• ARY case – Grant of licences to ARY Traders for import of gold and silver caused losses to the public exchequer, amounting to approximately Rs18.2 million.
• Ursus tractors deal – Another reference, which pertains to Ursus tractors deal, deals with alleged misappropriation in the purchase of 5,900 Russian and Polish tractors at a cost of Rs150,000 each, for the then Awami Tractor Scheme.
The court had earlier had acquitted the co-accused Nawab Yousuf Talpur and AH Kango in the case. The Ursus tractors purchase deal allegedly caused a loss of Rs268.3 million to the ADBP and Rs1.67 billion to the State Bank.
• Cotecna – This case involved an allegedly corrupt award for a contract for supervising pre-shipment at the Karachi port.