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Money-laundering probe: Talpur demands FIA to replace JIT head

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ISLAMABAD: Former president Asif Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur on Saturday demanded removal of the head of a joint investigation team formed on the Federal Investigation Agency’s directives to probe money-laundering allegations against them.

Zardari and Talpur again failed to appear before the FIA today, despite being issued notices by the agency to appear before the JIT at its headquarters in Islamabad.

Citing reservations against JIT head Najaf Mirza, Talpur’s counsel Farooq H. Naik petitioned the FIA to replace him and constitute a new investigative team to probe the matter.

Naik told that Zardari had registered an FIR against Najaf Mirza back in 2005. Expressing his reservations against the JIT head, the counsel said a transparent investigation into the matter was not possible if Mirza was not replaced.

“We are ready to cooperate with the FIA,” Naik said, adding that Talpur could not appear before the JIT as she was in Larkana to submit her asset details.

Money-laundering probe

The FIA is investigating 32 people in relation to money-laundering from fictitious accounts, including Asif Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur. Zardari’s close aide and former Pakistan Stock Exchange chairman Hussain Lawai was arrested earlier this month in connection with the probe.

Zardari and Talpur had also failed to appear before the agency despite being summoned on July 11. Talpur had subsequently asked the FIA for more time to submit a response in the case.

The agency, on August 1, had issued notices to both to appear today before a JIT in Islamabad formed to probe the allegations.

According to the sources, money trail of Rs23 billion out of Rs35 billion had been obtained so far.

The sources said that the JIT had decided not to register further cases with regard to money laundering until the next hearing of the case by the Supreme Court on August 6.

They added that legal action would be taken against the former president and his sister if they failed to appear before the JIT.

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