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Toshakahana Reference: Zardari, Gilani indicted, Nawaz declared proclaimed offender

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Former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gillani were indicted by an accountability court in Islamabad and declared former prime minister Nawaz Sharif absconder in the Toshakhana reference on Wednesday. Accused Anwar Majeed and Abdul Ghani Majeed were also indicted.

Judge Syed Asghar Ali declared the former Premier Sharif a proclaimed offender after his case was separated from the other accused.

The court further sought details of Sharif’s movable and immovable properties, and demanded that they be brought to court within seven days. He was also asked to clarify the process of his arrest and subsequent appearance in court.

Judge Asghar Ali further warned that if he failed to appear before the court, the former premier’s properties will be frozen.

Objecting the accusation, former Prime Minister Gilani himself came to the rostrum to present his stance. He has said he has never done anything in contradiction of the rules. “Only a summary that came according to the law was approved. Had the summary been wrong, it would not have been moved,” he maintained.

The accountability court judge responded that action will be taken as per the law. “We are not yet discussing the merits of the case, or how the summary came and was approved. You have to tell this to the court during the trial,” he added.

The former prime minister further argued that the reference was made by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), without looking at business rules.

After ordering NAB to present its witnesses-Waqar-ul-Hassan Shah, Zubair Siddiqui and Imran Zafar-to the hearing , the court adjourned the hearing until 24 September.

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