Arrest warrants without bail granted for Malik Riaz, Shahzad Akbar, and four others in the Al-Qadir Trust case

On Monday, an accountability court in Islamabad issued non-bailable arrest warrants for property magnate Malik Riaz, former special assistants to the prime minister Mirza Shahzad Akbar and Zulfi Bukhari, along with three others in connection with the Al-Qadir Trust case.

The warrants also targeted Farhat Shahzadi, a close associate of the spouse of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, lawyer Ziaul Mustafa Nasim, and Riaz’s son Ali Ahmed Riaz.

Last week, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed a reference against Imran and seven others, including his wife Bushra Bibi, in relation to the Al-Qadir Trust case.

The case alleges that Imran and Bushra Bibi obtained significant amounts of money and extensive land from Bahria Town Ltd to legitimize Rs50 billion identified and repatriated by the UK during the previous PTI government.

NAB’s reference claims that Imran, currently in jail, played a “pivotal role in the illicit transfer of funds meant for the state of Pakistan into an account designated for the payment of land by Bahria Town, Karachi.” It also alleges that despite being given multiple opportunities to provide information, the accused deliberately refused, with mala fide intention.

The judge issued a written order, noting that Imran was already in judicial lockup, directing a notice to the Adiala jail superintendent to produce him at the next hearing on December 6. The judge also mentioned that Bushra Bibi had obtained interim bail and instructed her to appear at the next hearing.

The other six suspects were declared “at large,” leading to the issuance of non-bailable arrest warrants with reports to be submitted at the next hearing. The trial proceedings are set to take place at Adiala jail or the location where the accused are confined, as per a notification from the law ministry.

The reference alleges that the accused committed corruption and corrupt practices in connivance with each other, with Imran playing a pivotal role in the illicit fund transfer. Akbar and Malik are accused of playing crucial roles in the illegal design of funds, while Bushra Bibi and Shahzadi are said to have significant and crucial roles in these illegal activities. The reference concludes by requesting that the suspects be tried and punished according to the law.

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