Pakistan Grants Bail to ex President Accused of Money Laundering
A court in the southern port of Karachi granted on Friday interim bail to former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari who is facing a money laundering trial for transferring Rs 35 billion (US$284 million) through three fake bank accounts, media reported.
Zardari, 62 was also granted protective bail by the Islamabad High Court in August in the same case and the court directed him to appear before the judge beginning of September. Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur has also been accused in the same case. Zardari accused former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 2015 of manufacturing the accusation to politically victimize him. Sharif, the three time prime minister of Pakistan himself is facing 10 year jail
sentence over corruption charges stemming from findings in 2016 Panama Papers revelations.
Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, was Pakistan’s first democratically elected president. He was previously jailed for corruption. Before entering the court, he was asked by a reporter why he did not arrive in a government helicopter like Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is being criticised for commuting to work in one. “You should wait here and I will return in a helicopter,” Zardari replied.
Pakistan is listed as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Transparency Internationals’ 2017 Corruption Perception Index ranks it 116 out of 180 countries.