ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Wednesday deferred the hearing of former president Asif Ali Zardari and other accused in the Park Lane reference till June 26.
As the hearing of the case resumed today, Zardari’s lawyer Farooq H Naik submitted exemption pleas on behalf of Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur from appearing before the court due to the prevalent coronavirus situation in the country.
To this Judge Azam Khan said that social distancing would be maintained in the courtroom.
Naik said that due to a large number of lawyers present in the courtroom, maintaining social distance would not be possible.
However, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor said that copies of the reference have been submitted and the court should charge the accused. He added that arrangements have been made for the video statement of Omni Group chief Anwar Majeed.
“Coronavirus has spread in the country and older people are likely to be more infected with the virus,” Naik told the court. “Both Zardari and his sister are over 60-years-old.”
In response, the accountability court said that if the accused could not appear, they can record their video statement.
To which, Majeed’s lawyer Latif Khosa maintained that despite the video statement, Majeed could not be charged, till the accused himself appears before the court.
However, the NAB prosecutor said that Majeed could be marked present if a judicial representative was present with him.
The NAB prosecutor further said that all the requirements have been met in the Park Lane case and that the date of the indictment should be fixed soon so that the trial can proceed.
The court then granted Zardari and Talpur exemption from appearing before the court and fixed June 26 for indictment and adjourned the hearing of the money laundering case till July 7.