Court rejects plea seeking Zardari-family meeting twice a week

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Basharat Raja

Islamabad

An Accountability Court (AC) on Monday rejected identical petitions filed by family members and counsels of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur, seeking permission to meet the accused twice a week.

However, the court ordered that the lawyers and family members could meet once a week with the accused who were in jail on judicial remand in fake accounts references.

AC-I Judge Muhammad Bashir announced the judgment after hearing arguments from lawyer on petitions.

During outset of hearing, the petitioners’ lawyer informed the court that the legal team of the accused was containing Sardar Latif Khosa, Shaista Khosa and Shahbaz Khosa while Bilawal Butto Zardari, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, Asifa Bhutto Zardari and Rukhsana Bangash were include in family members of the accused.

These persons had been allowed to meet Zardari and Talpur once a week.

In his supporting arguments, Zardari’s counsel said, Monday, has been fixed as a meeting date with his clients, but the jail administration always asks for the court orders, whenever anyone comes to meet them.

He requested the court to grant permission of meeting twice in a week with his clients, however, NAB prosecutor opposed it.

He prayed the court to allow Bilawal Bhutto to meet the accused on September 17, as he had to return Larkana due to election campaign.

He also prayed the court to allow the above persons to meet Asif Zardari and Faryal Talpur twice a week.

The court, after hearing arguments from both sides, had reserved the verdict. Pronouncing the reserved verdict later in the day, the court rejected the plea and fixed Monday as a meeting day with Zardari and Faryal Talpur.

Both Zardari and Talpur are being held at Adiala Jail after they were arrested by the accountability watchdog earlier this year on charges of laundering billions of rupees through fictitious accounts.