The accountability judge had directed authorities to ensure that the accused present himself for the hearing today. Zardari appeared before the court for today’s hearing via video link from his Bilawal House residence in Karachi.
Other suspects in the case also attended proceedings of the case via video link. Zardari told the court that his lawyer, Naek, was busy in court hence he could not be indicted today.
“Your lawyer knew beforehand about the date of today’s hearing,” responded the judge. “You will be indicted (today).”
The accountability court judge said that Zardari’s lawyer could have sent his assistant lawyer to attend today’s hearing. “These are just two simple sentences in English, you can listen to them and answer,” said the judge.
Zardari requested the judge to write in his order that the charges were framed against him whilst his lawyer was not present in court.
“Charges are always framed against the suspect. If his or her lawyer does not present himself before the court, we cannot force [the lawyer] to do so,” replied the judge.
The judge then proceeded to read out the charges against Zardari. The former president pleaded not guilty to the charges.