An Islamabad Accountability Court on Saturday granted the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) nine-day physical custody of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur.
On Friday, Talpur was arrested by NAB officials in Islamabad in connection with a case pertaining to money laundering through fake accounts.
A five-member NAB team including female investigators had reached Zardari House, Islamabad, which was notified as a sub-jail by the NAB chairman earlier today “for the purposes of detention of accused under the NAO, 1999”, according to a notification issued by the accountability watchdog.
Today, Talpur was presented before Accountability Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik and NAB had sought a 14-day physical remand for her. NAB had argued that Talpur is the director of the Zardari Group and that she has a central role in the fake bank accounts case.
The prosecution further argued that it was through Talpur’s signature that Rs30 million were transferred from the Zardari Group’s bank account to Awais Muzaffar.
“Talpur laundered money with the help of other suspects,” NAB prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar argued.
Hearing these arguments, the court granted NAB a nine-day physical remand for Talpur. The remand will last till June 24.
Earlier, when Talpur left her residence female PPP workers including Shagufta Jumani, Mehreen Bhutto and Senator Krishna Kumari saw her off. Farhatullah Babar also reached Zardari House.
Talpur was transferred to the accountability court amid tight security; an armoured vehicle was also part of the security detail.
When the armoured vehicle reached Zardari House, PPP workers chanted slogans of “shame” and said, “these people are afraid of a woman.”
‘Arrests politically motivated’
Speaking to the media while on the way out of the accountability court, Talpur said that her and her brother’s arrests were politically motivated and that she has submitted to God.
“I think everyone knows by now that these arrests are politically motivated, but I know that God will be gracious and I have submitted myself to Him,” she said.
PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari was arrested on Monday after cancellation of his and Talpur’s pre-arrest bail by the Islamabad High Court in the fake bank accounts case, prompting a strong reaction from the opposition and sporadic protests by PPP workers in various parts of the country, mostly in Sindh.
The NAB said the grounds for arresting Zardari included whitening ill-gotten money through fake accounts, acquiring stakes in Summit Bank through fraudulent means, using Omni Group as a hedge between himself and fake accounts, receiving millions of rupees from two fake accounts, and getting unauthorised payments released for construction of a Karachi plot.
Zardari is currently on physical remand in NAB custody. NAB sources told DawnNewsTV that investigators, after their questioning of Zardari, had concluded that Talpur’s arrest was “unavoidable”.
Zardari spent 11 years in jail on corruption and murder charges before becoming president in 2008. But he was never convicted and has continued to deny any wrongdoing.