Friday Jan 26 2018
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Zainab case suspect has no commercial bank accounts: State Bank of Pakistan

LAHORE: The State Bank, in a letter to the joint investigation team formed to probe the rape and murder of Zainab, confirmed that suspect Imran Ali had no commercial bank accounts. 

“All commercial banks have informed that they have searched their databases and found no account of the accused against the said CNIC,” the letter read. 

Announcing the findings of the central bank during a news conference on Friday, Punjab government spokesman Malik Ahmed Khan said allegations regarding the primary accused by a television anchor were "fake and fabricated" and were issued without any consideration regarding consequences. 

SBP letter submitted to JIT 

"The news presented by Dr Shahid Masood is absolutely fake and fabricated,” Malik Ahmed Khan said, adding that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had confirmed that no foreign currency commercial bank accounts of the accused were found.

The central bank had launched an inquiry after Dr Shahid Masood had alleged that Imran Ali, the main accused in the Zainab murder case, had dozens of bank accounts. 

Malik further said that the apex court has taken suo moto and the case is currently subjudice,

While responding to a question regarding lawmakers named in relation to the child abuse issue in Kasur, Ali said that "those who faced character assassination" have a right to clear their name.

The State Bank earlier confirmed it had received a request from the joint investigation team (JIT) regarding reports by a private media house suggesting that the accused, Imran Ali Naqshbandi, held several bank accounts, including currency foreign accounts.

The central bank had begun collecting details from banks concerning the allegations and had assured the JIT of its full cooperation in the case.

Meanwhile, the JIT has also completed its probe into the alleged bank accounts of the suspect but found no bank account under his name and CNIC data.

Bank officials, when approached by Geo News earlier following reports of the accused's bank accounts, denied their existence. They said that the suspect does not have an account in any of their bank branches.

'Accused only had a mobile account with Rs130'

Governor SBP Tariq Bajwa also confirmed that the accused does not possess any commercial bank account.

"He only had a mobile bank account which had a balance of Rs130," said Bajwa.

The SBP governor also said that a second CNIC number was provided by the provincial government, which is still being scrutinised by the authorities.

"Till now, reports say that no bank accounts have been found against the CNIC," said Bajwa while referring to the second CNIC number.

When asked which CNIC of the accused is real, Bajwa said the Punjab government will be better able to answer the question.

He added that the SBP is represented in the Kasur JIT by Shaukat Ali and assured that the institution would cooperate fully in the investigation. 

SC reschedules hearing to Sunday

The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Friday rescheduled the hearing of the case and will now hold the hearing on Sunday in Lahore's SC registry. 

The hearing was earlier scheduled for Monday. The cause list has also been issued. 

Punjab's advocate general, IG Jail and DG forensics Punjab have been issued notices for appearing before the court. 

In addition, the SC also summoned the Dr Shahid Masood who claimed that the accused had foreign currency bank accounts.

Masood was summoned earlier by the JIT, but did not appear before the probe body formed by the Punjab government to share proof of his claims, said a tweet by the provincial government. 

The tweet added that the anchor person's contact numbers are also switched off.    

Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday took notice of reports by a media outlet suggesting that the accused held several bank accounts, and directed the JIT to probe into the matter.

The Punjab government, on the chief minister's directives, notified of addition of a representative of the State Bank and DG Forensic Science Laboratory to the already existing JIT in the case, headed by a deputy inspector general (DIG).

Earlier this week, a special anti-terrorism court handed Imran to police on a 14-day physical remand. During proceedings, the accused admitted to the rape and murder of Zainab, who was kidnapped near her aunt’s house in Kasur on January 4. Her body was discovered in a garbage heap five days later.