Lahore: Zardari’s drug case adjourned
LAHORE: An additional district and sessions judge adjourned till April 26 the trial in a drug case against Pakistan People’s Party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari.
During the proceedings on Thursday, Mr Zardari did not appear before the court and his counsel Khurram Khosa moved a petition seeking exemption for Mr Zardari from personal appearance.
Justifying non-appearance of the accused, Khurram Khosa said that due to security reasons, Mr Zardari could not appear before the court. He also said that the accused was busy in formation of the government, so his presence should be condoned for the day.
He said that the accused had already moved an acquittal application. He asserted that Mr Zardari should be acquitted from the case, because he (Mr Zardari) had already spent seven years in jail.
He said that the first prosecution witness, police official Ashraf Marth, had already said that it was a case of no-evidence and was lodged on the directions of the then government. He said another accused of this case, Shorang Khan, had died.
He said, “It is the responsibility of the anti-narcotics force to investigate all drug matters, which was not done in Mr Zardari’s case. Even the anti-narcotics force returned the case to the police, saying, ‘Go and wash your dirty linen yourself, we do not want to interfere in it’.”
While seeking exemption from personal appearance, the counsel also requested the deferment of the trial so that the new government could decide its fate. He said under the charter of democracy, the government itself would withdraw the case.
The drug case against Asif Zardari was made when he was in jail. In 1998, the Qilla Gujjar Singh police had arrested Arif Baloch who during interrogation, confessed that Mr Zardari had given them drugs for sale.