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NAB challenges Zardari’s acquittal in last graft case

LAHORE: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday approached Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court challenging the acquittal of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari in the last corruption reference against him.

The appeal filed by NAB officials pleaded that the Rawalpindi accountability court’s judgement acquitting Zardari in the assets reference be struck down and the case be referred to a trial court.

An accountability court in Rawalpindi had on Aug 26 granted a plea of the PPP co-chairperson seeking his acquittal in the sixth and last reference pertaining to his alleged illegal assets as he had already been given clean chit in five other cases.

Zardari’s lawyer Farooq H Naek had filed an application under section 265-K of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) requesting the court to acquit him in the case citing lack of evidence.

The NAB in its appeal contended that the trial court delivered an erroneous verdict and failed to took into consideration the evidences and depositions of prosecution witnesses produced before it in the case. Thus, it pleaded, the verdict is liable to be discarded.

Two days after the verdict, Zardari addressed a press conference defending his acquittal in the final reference of NAB , saying that it was not the first time he won a “politically motivated” case against him.

The former president had said that a long tale is attached to each of these fourteen politically motivated cases. There were 400 to 500 court appearances that we went through to get the verdicts,” he added.

“It is very easy for people to say that I colluded with them to get these verdicts, but instead there has been a real struggle behind each of them.”

He also said the governments during the tenure of former president Ghulam Ishaq Khan instituted a number of cases against him. “Those cases were also based on trumped up charges and I won all of them while in jail,” he said. “But I do not want to bother people with those stories at the moment”

“I remember I was in Landhi jail when the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) was quashed by Justice Qazi,” he said. “When I was walking out, the superintendent said, ‘Please leave your stuff here as you will return back soon.’ I told him that I will complete my formality.”

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