The accountability watchdog has constituted two teams for the arrest of the former president, the sources claimed and all the accused may be arrested today.

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday rejected the permanent bail application filed by former president and co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Asif Ali Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur in the mega money laundering case.

Subsequently, the court has allowed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to arrest both PPP leaders.

Both Zardari and his sibling had left the court building before the verdict was announced.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) can now act on its arrest warrants against Zardari — which were apparently issued yesterday — after receiving the written court order, which is expected to be issued soon. Talpur, however, cannot be arrested as her warrants have not been issued as yet, Dawn News TV reported.

The accountability watchdog has constituted two teams for the arrest of the former president, the sources claimed and all the accused may be arrested today.

A two-member division bench comprising of Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani and Justice Aamer Farooq presided over the hearing.

During the hearing, NAB prosecutor Jahanzeb Bharwana pleaded with the court for 20 minutes to give arguments in the case. To which, the bench stated: “You have already presented your arguments, while this is hearing for a bail and not an appeal against conviction.”

The NAB prosecutor responded that 29 [fake bank] accounts were traced, according to the FIR lodged in the case, and transactions of Rs 4.5 billion were uncovered, and billions of rupees were transferred from A1 International and Umair Associates.

He further disclosed that the Zardari Group and the Parthenon Private Limited had conducted transactions with the accounts, and said this was a detail of only one account from the total 29.

Subsequently, the prosecutor argued that Mr Zardari’s bail application was inadmissible for hearing.

In this regard, the court had sought complete record pertaining to the money laundering accusations against the PPP leaders from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Importantly, the NAB has sought the court’s permission to arrest Mr Zardari and his sibling. The bureau has already issued arrest warrants for the PPP co-chairman in the money laundering case.

Farooq H Naek, the defense counsel of the PPP leaders, while responding to the arguments of the prosecutor stated that the chairman of the bureau does not have an authority to issue arrest warrants, and in this case he had issued an arrest warrants.

Subsequently, the court reserved its judgment over the matter.

In this regard, the court has sought complete record pertaining to the money laundering accusations against the PPP leaders from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Importantly, the NAB will seek the court’s permission to arrest Mr Zardari and his sibling. The bureau has already issued arrest warrants for the PPP co-chairman in the money laundering case.

Farooq H Naek, the defense counsel of the PPP leaders, while responding to the arguments of the prosecutor stated that the chairman of the bureau does not have an authority to issue arrest warrants, and in this case he had issued an arrest warrants.

Subsequently, the court reserved its judgment over the matter.

Besides, a special team of the accountability watchdog has also arrived at the court to arrest Mr Zardari, in case his bail is rejected by the court.

NAB is conducting investigations in pursuance of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the money laundering of billions through fake accounts case wherein it forwarded the joint investigation team (JIT) report with directions to investigate and file references.

Earlier, the case was being heard in a banking court in Karachi but had been shifted to an accountability court in Islamabad upon an appeal by the NAB.