ISLAMABAD–An accountability court in Rawalpindi on Friday initiated proceedings against former president Asif Ali Zardari in an assets reference.
Accountability court judge Raja Ikhlaq Hussain heard a petition by Special Prosecutor Raja Khurram Ejaz which he had filed on behalf of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry.
The application said that Zardari’s immunity had ended with the termination of his presidential tenure on Sept 8, 2013, and requested that the assets reference against him be reopened.
The name of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto — who was a co-accused in the case — was eliminated from the reference following her death in 2007.
Approving the application, the court ordered Zardari to appear before it on April 27 and subsequently adjourned the matter to the said date.
The assets reference was initiated against Zardari and Benazir in 2001 during the tenure of former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf but its hearing was adjourned indefinitely in 2010.
In 2002, Zardari had challenged the assets reference, which pertains to the former president’s movable and immovable property in Pakistan and abroad.
In the assets reference, the prosecution alleged that Zardari had purchased a number of properties in the name of his frontmen and had deposited the money from kickbacks in different Swiss banks.