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ISLAMABAD: An Accountability Court (AC) in Islamabad has rejected the plea of ​​former President Asif Ali Zardari seeking acquittal in the hearing of Toshakhana reference.

Judge Asghar Ali heard the Tosha Khana reference.

The acquittal petition filed by Asif Ali Zardari, stated that Zardari is “innocent and has been falsely implicated” in the reference on account of “political victimization”.

The petition also said that it was violation of law to proceed with the hearing till the verdict was announced on the plea of ​​acquittal.

The court rejected the plea and sought reply from NAB by September 30.

The court issued arrest warrants for National Accountability Bureau (NAB) witness Junaid Sheikh in his absence, while granting Asif Ali Zardari and Yousuf Raza Gilani a one-day exemption from attendance.

Earlier, Pakistan People’s Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari had filed an application with an accountability court for his acquittal in the Toshakhana reference.

Zardari had been accused by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of illegally retaining expensive vehicles gifted by various foreign states and dignitaries instead of depositing them in the Toshakhana.

According to the anti-corruption body, Zardari retained the vehicles “against a nominal payment of 15% of their total value” through “dishonest and illegal means for personal benefit and interest”.

In September 2020, an anti-graft court had indicted the former president along with ex-prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in the reference.

The former president’s counsel Farooq H Naek on Thursday filed an application under Section 265-K of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)