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NAB court indicts Zardari, declares Nawaz Sharif as ‘proclaimed offender’

NAB court indicts Zardari, declares Nawaz Sharif as ‘proclaimed offender’
September 9, 2020
ISLAMABAD (92 News) - An accountability court in Islamabad on Wednesday indicted former president Asif Ali Zardari and declared former premier Nawaz Sharif as proclaimed offender in Toshakhana reference. The court heard the Toshakhana reference, while Zardari and Yousaf Raza Gilani appeared before court. The court indicted four persons including Zardari and Gilani, both have denied the charges. The judge, Asghar Ali of court number three, ordered a copy of the indictment to be given to the suspects. During the proceedings, the judge also declared Nawaz Sharif as proclaimed offender in the case and sought details of his movable and immovable assets within a week. The judge said that now that the court has declared Nawaz a proclaimed offender, his case is going to be separated. The court sought a detailed list of his moveable and immovable assets in seven days. The process to seize his assets will be started soon. A perpetual warrant of arrest was also issued for the PML-N founder. Taking to the rostrum, Gilani said these kinds of matters should go to the Public Accounts Committee, not NAB. The cabinet division had sent the summary to give the cars from the Toshakhana, he argued. “The summary landed on my desk after a whole process but the bureaucrats who sent it to me haven’t been declared suspects.” The judge said he will be able to say whatever he likes when the time to present his defence comes. Later, Asif Ali Zardari signed surety bonds after being indicted in the Toshakhana reference. The accountability court summoned three witnesses including Waqarul Hassan Shah, Zubair Siddiqui and Imran Zafar on September 24 and adjourned the hearing.
Toshakhana reference
NAB has accused former prime minister Gilani of illegally allotted cars to Nawaz and Zardari. The accountability watchdog stated that Zardari and Nawaz obtained cars from the Toshakhana by paying only 15% of the price of the luxury vehicles. It also alleged that Gillani had facilitated the allotment of the vehicles to Zardari and Nawaz by illegally relaxing the rules. According to the reference, Zardari had received armoured vehicles as gift from the UAE and Libya between 2005 and 2008 but didn’t report the report the gifts or deposit them. The Toshakhana is an official treasury where gifts from foreign dignitaries or heads of state are deposited. Two former prime ministers, Nawaz and Gilani, have also been nominated in the reference. Gilani, however, has been granted an exemption from appearing for the case hearings.