Defence lawyers dispute plea to transfer money laundering case.

KARACHI -- A banking court reserved on Monday the verdict on the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)'s request to shift the money laundering case involving former president Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur from Karachi to Islamabad. The court also extended the pre-arrest bail of Zardari, Talpur and other accused till March 15.

Zardari's counsel, Farooq H Naek, moved an application requesting Zardari's exemption from appearance while Talpur and others appeared before the court.

The jail authorities presented Hussain Lawai, Ghani Majeed and Taha Raza before the court. Naek raised the objection on behalf of his client on the decision to transfer the case, the copy of which was provided to the NAB prosecutor.

The NAB prosecutor in his arguments said that the NAB chairman had approved the transfer of the case to Islamabad. The case is being transferred in the light of the Supreme Court (SC) orders. Hence, the objections had no base, said the prosecutor. This case has a pivotal connection with NAB references and there was no need for the show cause of the accused in accordance with the SC 2004 verdict.

The NAB chairman, as per Section 16-A of the NAB Ordinance, enjoys the authority to transfer the case, said the NAB prosecutor.

Naek said that there was a need to review the section. The authority exercised by the NAB chairman for transferring the case was related with the nature of the case. The cases falling within NAB's jurisdiction can only be transferred, he argued. He further said that a case cannot be shifted to other provinces on SC and high court orders. The case in point has no connection with NAB's references. The case has not been mentioned in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) reports. The SC only ordered the...

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