Zardari, Talpur skip FIA hearing again, want JIT head replaced

PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur on Saturday once again failed to appear before a joint investigation team probing a money-laundering case against them, and petitioned the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to form a fresh JIT due to their reservations against the team’s current head.

The siblings, who face allegations that they had illegally channelled funds through benami accounts in connivance with the CEO of major banks, had failed to appear before the JIT on multiple occasions.

They again skipped the hearing today, with Talpur’s counsel Farooq H. Naik raising objections against the JIT head and requesting the FIA to commission a new investigative team.

Naik said that his client wants to “fully cooperate with the FIA”. “However, she will not appear before the JIT today as she is currently in Larkana to submit the details of her assets.”

“[We have] also petitioned the FIA to form a new JIT,” he added.

Last month, upon being declared an absconder, Zardari had accused FIA DG Bashir Memon of holding a grudge against the PPP.

He had termed the probe against him as “political victimisation” and claimed that the FIA DG was working on an anti-PPP agenda.

Zardari and Talpur are being investigated as part of corruption case relating to fake accounts and fictitious bank transactions worth Rs35 billion.

The case was initially registered against former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai, who is widely believed to be close to former president Asif Ali Zardari.