NAB to withdraw 4 appeals against Zardari’s acquittal

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Wednesday filed miscellaneous applications in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to withdraw its four appeals against the acquittal of former president Asif Ali Zardari in 25-year-old references.

The NAB adopted the stance that further prosecution would be an ineffective practice. Even the copies of the documents in the cases were hardly available, it said, adding that the available documented proof was not sufficient as per law.

It prayed the court to grant approval to the anti-graft watchdog to withdraw the appeals against the acquittal of the PPP co-chairman and former president. It may be mentioned here that an accountability court (AC) had acquitted Zardari in 2015 in four references related to Ursus Tractors, ARY Gold, Polo Ground and SGS Cotecna.

The NAB had challenged the acquittal before the high court.

Last month, the Islamabad High Court had given the anti-graft body until October 20 to review the cases against Zardari’s acquittal in the 25-year-old cases under the new law. A two-judge bench headed by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah conducted the hearing. The NAB told the court that its prosecutor general would decide the future of the cases in a week.

Giving respite to the NAB, the court adjourned the proceedings until October 20.

Besides, the NAB had sought the opinion of the Law Ministry on old cases. However, the ministry declined to comment and asked the NAB to decide on its own.

The IHC also adjourned the hearing on a petition challenging the admissibility of Park Lane graft reference against Zardari. The case was adjourned without further proceeding because of the absence of the petitioner’s lawyer.


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