An accountability court of Islamabad issued bailable arrest warrants against former president and Pakistan People Paty (PPP) chairman Asif Ali Zardari.
The ATC started the process of declaring former disqualified PM Nawaz Sharif a proclaimed offender in a reference accusing them and ex-PM Yousuf Raza Gillani of receiving luxury vehicles and gifts from Toshakhana.
A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor submitted a compliance report to Accountability Judge Asghar Ali stating that the NAB forwarded arrest warrants against Sharif, who is in London, through the Foreign Office.
While Observing that the PML-N supreme leader is not joining the trial proceedings intentionally, the accountability court judge issued directives for starting the process of declaring him a proclaimed offender over perpetual absence from the hearing.
PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari represented by PPP Senator Farooq H Naek, moved an application on behalf of his client Asif Ali Zardari requesting the court to grant him exemption from personal appearance in today’s hearing due to the COVID-19 fears.
Farooq H Naek said Zardari, being a senior citizen, can’t turn up because of the COVID-19 pandemic, This is a criminal case as Asif Zardari will have to show up, the judge observed, asking if the former president was diagnosed with the disease.
The counsel replied that people will gather on the court premises because of the PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari`s appearance, putting not only themselves but him at potential risk of catching the contagion.
It is up to the administration to prevent people from gathering, requesting the judge to not extend any concession to the former president and demanding his arrest warrants, Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar said, He said the court gave Yousuf Raza Gillani exemption from personal appearance, due to which his counsel has not even turned up before the court, pleading with the court to withdraw the exemption granted to him.
The court can issue warrants in case Zardari doesn’t appear, assuring he will show up on next hearing, Farooq H Naek argued
He said ex-PM Gillani had gone into self-quarantine after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.
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