Zardari's counsel Farooq H Naek said that his client could not be charged by the Accountability Court in Thursday's hearing and the proceedings were deferred till January 18.

Assistant lawyer Amjad Iqbal said that arguments will be presented in the next hearing with the reference to 58-year-old Zardari's indictment.

Zardari, dressed in a black overcoat and a black cap, left the court with a smile on his face and waved to his Pakistan People's Party supporters and the media personnel.

The former president arrived at the court to defend the allegations levelled against him in five references including Polo Ground, SGS, Ursus tractors deal, Cotecna and ARY Gold cases. It was earlier expected that Zardari would be indicted in Polo Ground reference on Thursday.

The references against Zardari were deferred earlier as he enjoyed immunity during his tenure as the President of Pakistan. The court had earlier released several of the co-accused in the references against Zardari.

"Pakistan People's Party has always respected the courts and so has former president Zardari which can be seen by the fact that he appeared before the court today," said former interior minister Rehman Malik.

"We are suspects and not criminals as these are only allegations against the former president," he added.

Zardari had earlier missed three hearings, citing security threats. The court had earlier decided to indict Zardari on December 9 in four graft references out of five pending against him.


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