Court seeks details of amenities given to Zardari in jail

ISLAMABAD: The acting judge of an accountability court here on Tuesday asked the Adiala jail administration to provide details about the amenities available to former president Asif Ali Zardari, who has been in jail on judicial remand in the fake bank accounts case till Sept 5.

Judge Raja Jawad Abbas Hassan was hearing an application filed by the counsel for the former president, Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, seeking contempt proceedings against the jail authorities for not implementing the court order.

The jail administration had earlier informed the accountability court that they had forwarded its order to the home secretary and was waiting for a reply from the home department in this regard.

Last week, the former president was brought to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences for a medical examination that the hospital management termed a routine test.

In the application, Advocate Khosa said that Mr Zardari had been given ‘A’ Class facilities in jail even before he became president in 2008.

Judicial remand of ex-president to expire tomorrow

But the jail authorities, the counsel said, in violation of the court directive were not giving proper care to his client despite the fact that he had grown old and was suffering from multiple diseases.

According to him, Mr Zardari wanted to keep an attendant in the cell on his own as he requires proper care due to his ailment.

Judge Mohammad Bashir of the accountability court had rejected the request for providing ‘A’ Class facilities to Mr Zardari at state expense.

However, the court granted approval for various amenities to be installed or brought for use in his cell from his own pocket.

According to the ruling given on Aug 16, the ex-president was allowed to keep a fridge, an air conditioner, internet connection and a personal attendant in the cell at his own expense. The court had also extended the judicial remand of the former president to Sept 5.

On Tuesday, the court sought details from the Adiala jail authorities about the facilities provided to the former president as per its directive.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had arrested the former president on June 10 after cancellation of his pre-arrest bail by the Islamabad High Court in the fake bank accounts case.

He is facing multiple inquiries related to fake bank accounts.

As per a NAB report submitted to the IHC earlier this year, Mr Zardari was facing at least eight inquiries.

He was nominated as accused in references related to fake accounts, Park Lane company and illegal award of contracts, while the remaining inquiries relate to the misappropriation of cane growers’ subsidy, taking vehicles from Tosha Khana and paying their import duties from fake accounts, transactions of Rs8.3 billion from Bahria Town through fake accounts and receiving kickbacks in JV Opal by the Zardari Group.

The FIA had named Mr Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed, his sons and over 10 others as suspects in an interim charge-sheet filed in a banking court in August last year.

The case was, however, transferred from the banking court in Karachi to the accountability court in Rawalpindi in March for trial.

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