LAHORE - Reacting to the re-opening of graft cases against former President Asif Ali Zardari, PPP’s Secretary General, Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, also a noted lawyer, has opined that NAB court has no power to re-open the cases.
“Only a committee headed by Chairman NAB can decide to re-open the cases against the accused”, Khosa told The Nation when asked to comment on the development.
Substantiating his point, the PPP leader said that NAB court was not allowed to re-open cases against Mian Nawaz Sharif in the past without approval of the Chairman NAB. “There could not be two different laws in the country, one for Asif Ali Zardari and another for the Sharifs”, he observed.
Khosa was confident that even if the cases were re-opened, Asif Ali Zardari would be honourably acquitted, as they were devoid of any substance being instituted on political grounds. Besides, he added, of the five cases, the co-accused in three cases-SGS, Cotecna and ARY Gold- have already been acquitted due to lack of evidence. The FBR, he said, had completed all formalities in these cases.
Also, no involvement of the PM House has so far been established in Polo Ground and Ursus Tractors references, he said.
“It would only be a wastage of time and money to reopen the cases against the former President”, he affirmed.
Khosa further told that Asif Ali Zardari through his lawyer would file an application of acquittal in all these cases under Section 249-A of the Criminal Procedure Code. Additional Attorney General, Shah Khawar, however, did not agree with the contention of Latif Khosa that the three cases in which
the co-accused had been acquitted would get abated for this reason. He said courts took decisions on the basis of evidence and facts brought before them. If the prosecution had enough proofs in these cases against Asif Zardari, he may not be acquitted, he opined.
It merits mentioning here that following the death of Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari remains the only surviving family member to face the corruption cases pending against the family.
Begum Nusrat Bhutto was facing two corruption cases in accountability courts including Assets Reference and Cotecna. But since she is no more in the world the charges stand dropped. In Assets Reference she was charged with having assets worth 1.5 billion in United Kingdom, Switzerland and France which did not commensurate her known sources of income.
In Coteca Reference, she was charged with taking benefits from the clandestine deal allegedly done by the then Benazir Bhutto-led government with Swiss company for pre-shipment inspection contract and allegedly got kickbacks.
The principal accused in this case were Benazir Bhutto, her spouse Asif Ali Zardari, Begum Nusrat Bhutto, AR Siddiqui, and three foreign directors of the company.