The hearing of the fake accounts case was postponed till September 5 by the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday due to general adjournment of defence counsel Aitzaz Ahsan.
The case pertains to alleged money laundering of Rs35 billion through at least 29 ‘fake accounts’. A suo motu was taken by the apex court and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is investigating the matter.
A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandiyal and Justice Ijazul Ahsan also hinted at holding daily hearings of the case after September 5 as the FIA, in its reply to the SC, proposed a seven-member JIT to probe the case.
Aitzaz is part of a legal team representing those accused by the FIA of involvement in the money laundering case. The accused include former president Asif Ali Zardari, sister Faryal Talpur, Omni group’s Anwar Majeed and his sons, former Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) chairman Hussain Lawai, Summit Bank Senior Vice-President Taha Raza and others.
During the hearing, Deputy Attorney General Sohail Mahmood apprised the apex court of progress in the case. “Despite issuing of non-bailable warrants, 10 accused remain absconders,” he said. “Meanwhile, Zardari and Talpur are on interim bail.”
The top court rejected a plea by Shahid Hamid seeking access to Abdul Ghani Majeed – who was arrested by the FIA earlier this month – citing that his client’s life was in danger.
Justice Nisar observed that the counsel could not be granted access to the accused during the investigation, however, he directed the FIA to ensure Abdul Ghani was provided health facilities.
Meanwhile in Karachi, a banking court hearing money laundering case filed by the FIA extended judicial remand of Omni groups’ Majeed and son.
The court dismissed defence counsel’s request to move the accused to a hospital. “The lawyers can file a plea for hospital transfer,” the bench said.