Money laundering case: FIA to approach SC over Zardari, Faryal’s non-appearance

Money laundering case: FIA to approach SC over Zardari, Faryal’s non-appearance

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has decided to approach the Supreme Court (SC) over non-appearance of Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing Rs35 billion money laundering case.

On August 1, the FIA issued notices to Zardari and Talpur to appear before a JIT in Islamabad on Saturday. But the duo did not appear before the FIA team on Saturday. Talpur also demanded removal of the head of the FIA's joint investigation team formed to probe money-laundering allegations against them. Citing reservations about JIT head Najaf Mirza, Talpur's counsel Farooq H Naek petitioned the FIA to replace him and constitute a new investigative team to conduct the probe.

Naek told that Zardari got an FIR registered against Najaf Mirza back in 2005. Expressing his reservations about the JIT head, the counsel said a transparent investigation is not possible if Mirza is not replaced. "We are ready to cooperate with the FIA," Naek said, adding Talpur could not appear before the JIT as she was in Larkana to submit her asset details. He requested for a new date for his client to appear before the JIT.

Meanwhile, the FIA decided to approach the apex court after the former president and his sister did not appear before the JIT in the case. It has been learnt that the agency has decided to prepare a notice for the sake of any investigation in the light of court orders. The FIA has also prepared a report pertaining to its investigations in the case so far, which would be submitted with the Supreme Court on the next hearing of the case.

On Friday, sources informed that a team of FIA officials collected evidence in the Rs35 billion money laundering case, and handed it over to the JIT. According to the sources, money trail of Rs23 billion out of Rs35 billion has been obtained so far. The sources have said that the JIT has decided not to register further money laundering cases until the next hearing of the case by the Supreme Court on August 6.