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10.06.2019 18:50 News >> Update - Pakistan: Ex-President Zardari Arrested İn Graft Case

Update - Pakistan: Ex-President Zardari Arrested İn Graft Case

Leader of popular opposition party accused of laundering $300M out of country.

Pakistan's former President Asif Ali Zardari was arrested on Monday after a court rejected his bail plea in a graft case.

A team from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the country's anti-corruption authority, arrested Zardari from his residence in the capital Islamabad.

Earlier today, the Islamabad High Court rejected a bail plea for Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in a case related to money laundering.

Zardari, co-chairman of center-left Pakistan People's Party (PPP), who served as president from 2008-2013, is accused of laundering more than 35 billion Pakistani rupees ($300 million) through fake accounts. He has denied the charges.

Last September, the top court formed a six-member team to probe into charges against Zardari and his family. Its findings were submitted in January, which the top court forwarded to the anti-corruption authority for a further probe.

Supporters of Zardari claim that these cases are being used to crack down on the opposition.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is facing prison time after he was convicted in a corruption case. His younger brother Shahbaz Sharif is out on bail and facing similar charges. Both political leaders say they are suffering from health complications.

In the southern Sindh province, a stronghold of the PPP, hundreds of charged workers took to the streets. The stick-wielding activists forced shopkeepers to close shops to protest their leader's arrest, local media reported.

Also, a ruckus ensued in the National Assembly after PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was not allowed to speak about the arrest of his father.

Footage aired on local broadcaster Dunya TV showed angry parliamentarians gathered in front of speaker's chair and raising slogans against the government and NAB.

"Asif Zardari was cooperating with NAB authorities and appeared before the investigation team. Then why has NAB arrested him," Shahbaz Sharif, opposition leader in the National Assembly, said at the session aired on state-run Pakistan Television.

"NAB is harassing and filing cases against all those opposition leaders who are criticizing government," said Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, a former prime minister and PPP leader.

As a result, the session was adjourned.

Aamir Latif contributed to the story from Karachi -



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