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Zardari secures interim bail in 6 corruption cases being probed by NAB.

Byline: Naveed Siddiqui

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday granted interim bail to former president Asif Ali Zardari in six corruption cases that are being probed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The high court granted Zardari interim bail in the money laundering case until May 30. The former president was also granted an interim bail in inquiry pertaining to the Opal 225 property that is owned by the Zardari group until June 12 against surety bonds of Rs500,000. He also received an interim bail in the Park Lane probe until June 12.

The IHC extended Zardari's interim bail in the Tosha Khana vehicles inquiry until June 20. In an investigation pertaining to suspicious transactions, Zardari's interim bail was extended until May 21.

In a probe pertaining to M/s Harish and Company, the court adjourned the hearing until May 30.

A division bench comprising Justice Amir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiani heard the bail applications. Justice Farooq, during the hearing of the pleas, remarked that "it seems like there is a flood of bail [applications]".

The former president is named in 36 NAB inquiries and the anti-corruption watchdog claims that his role has been established in at least eight cases so far, according to an 11-page report submitted by the bureau to the IHC on Tuesday.

According to the list, NAB has issued arrest warrants for the former president only in the Park Lane case, while it has filed two interim references against him.

The interim references have been filed against illegal award of contracts to several companies including M/S Harish, by the Sindh government's Special Initiative Department. Another reference is based on the first information report registered by the Federal Investigation Agency on June 7, 2018 in connection with fake accounts.

The remaining five inquires relate to the misappropriation of cane growers' subsidy, taking vehicles from Tosha Khana and paying their import duties from fake accounts, transactions of Rs8.3 billion from Bahria Town through fake accounts and receiving kickbacks in JV Opal by the Zardari Group.

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Publication:Dawn (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:May 15, 2019
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