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Officers arrest ex-Pakistani president over corruption probe

By
Clyde Hughes
Former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, pictured here in 2013, was arrested Monday after an extension of his bail was denied. File Photo by Presidential Palace Pakistan/UPI
Former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, pictured here in 2013, was arrested Monday after an extension of his bail was denied. File Photo by Presidential Palace Pakistan/UPI | License Photo

June 10 (UPI) -- Pakistani authorities arrested former President Asif Ali Zardari Monday as part of a corruption case in which he's accused of funneling money to two private companies.

Officers with Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau arrested Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan People's Party, at his home after the Islamabad High Court rejected a bail extension for he and sister Faryal Talpur.

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Party officials said the arrest was politically motivated. Zardari, the husband of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was Pakistan's president from 2008 to 2013.

Latif Khosa, the Pakistan People's Party attorney, said Zardari had voluntarily surrendered and there was no need to send officers for his arrest.

"We already had the bail so how can the NAB warrants override the court orders," Khosa said. "We were advised to go to the high court and so we asked to show us the order. This is based on ill intentions.

"[Zardari] is a peaceful citizen of Pakistan and he voluntarily surrendered. He said, 'I'm obligated to the law and if they want to arrest me, I'll oblige and go with them,'" Khosa added.

Zardari and Talpur, who was not arrested Monday, were targeted following a 2015 investigation by the Federal Investigation Agency, which looked into allegations phony accounts were used to bundle illegal money and send it overseas via money laundering.

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