An accountability court in Islamabad indicted former president Asif Ali Zardari in the Park Lane reference on Monday via video link, a private TV channel reported. The accountability judge had directed authorities to ensure that the accused present himself for the hearing. Zardari appeared before the court for 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. “Your lawyer knew beforehand about the date of hearing,” responded the judge. “You will be indicted.” The accountability court judge said that Zardari’s lawyer could have sent his assistant lawyer to attend the 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 the 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. Youngest daughter of former president Aseefa Bhutto Zardari said that the judge trampled the PPP co-chairman’s constitutional and legal rights by ‘rushing’ through the indictment. “Charges framed against my father without his legal counsel present in court. He has spent 6 months in jail already and has been on ECL for 2 years now,” she said. A few days ago, the accountability had rejected the former president’s petitions and directed that the PPP leader be indicted on August 10.