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Zardari, Talpur fail to appear before FIA

Zardari, Talpur fail to appear before FIA

KARACHI: Former president Asif Ali Zardari and sister Faryal Talpur on Wednesday failed to appear before a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team investigating alleged money laundering of Rs35 billion.

According to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) sources, the party had unanimously decided in a high-level meeting held in Lahore that the top leadership will not appear before the investigative agency after the brother-sister duo were summoned on Tuesday, instead they will be represented by PPP’s legal team.

Two junior lawyers from senior PPP leader and advocate Farooq H Naik’s legal team appeared before the FIA to submit a written statement seeking time until after elections. In the request, Zardari and Talpur have committed to presenting themselves before the FIA after polls.

Sources said that the party had agreed to use delaying tactics until July 25 elections.

Meanwhile, the officials continued recording the statement of Zardari’s close aide and former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairperson Hussain Lawai. The FIA has sought physical remand for Lawai from a lower court.

On June 6, the FIA registered a case in the Rs35 billion money laundering scam in which 29 bank accounts of Summit Bank, Sindh Bank and three other banks were used to channel the money. The agency arrested Summit Bank’s former president Hussain Lawai and Senior Vice President Taha Raza. Other accused have either fled the country or are in hiding.

The FIA submitted their report regarding this matter in the Supreme Court on June 8 after it ordered the names of all fake account holders, people in the Sindh government who transferred funds from these accounts, the contractors and all the suspected beneficiaries in the Exit Control List (ECL).