ISLAMABAD: An accountability court of Islamabad on Tuesday issued bailable arrest warrant for former president Asif Ali Zardari for his continuous absence in the Toshakhana reference.
Counsel of the former president, Farooq H Naek urged the court to grant his client exemption from appearance before the court because of spread of coronavirus disease. The court rejected the plea of exemption from hearings.
Meanwhile, the accountability court also issued orders to summon former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-N supremo Nawaz Sharif through an advertisement, after the court was apprised by the National Accountability Bureau prosecutor that a summon was sent to him in London with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The court warned that Nawaz Sharif would be declared a proclaimed offender, if he did not appear before the court.
Earlier on Jun 11, the accountability court had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Toshakhana reference.
Nawaz Sharif, former PM Yousaf Raza Gillani and former president Asif Ali Zardari were summoned in the said case by the accountability court. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor had blamed that Zardari and Nawaz were illegally given cars by Gillani as a prime minister. The ex-president had given 15 percent of the cost of the cars through fake bank accounts, he alleged.
When Zardari was president, he had received cars as a gift from Libya and the United Arab Emirates which he did not deposit in the treasury. According to the rules, the Toshakhana or gift from any country received by the head of the state remains the property of the government unless sold at an open auction. Officials can retain gifts which have a market value of less than Rs10,000 without paying anything though.
NAB prosecutor Muzaffar Abbasi had appealed to the court to issue a non-bailable arrest warrant for supreme leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and as he was abroad, advertisements against him could be published in foreign newspapers.