Islamabad (September 27, 2017): The accountability court has issued written orders of the indictment of finance minister Ishaq Dar in the National Accountability Bureau’s reference filed against him for allegedly possessing assets beyond known sources of income.
Judge Accountability Court Mohammad Bashir indicted Dar in the reference filed on the instructions of Supreme Court in Panamagate verdict.
The minister pleaded not guilty to all charges read out by Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir, terming them baseless. Following the indictment, NAB presented before the court a list of witnesses against the accused.
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Dar’s counsel, Amjad Pervez, pleaded that his client did not receive the notice the court usually issues seven days prior to the indictment, but the judge told him that since his client had not appeared in the first hearing on Sept 19, this could be taken to mean that he was allowed the seven-day notice period.
The court asked NAB prosecution to present at least two witnesses who would testify against Dar.
Meanwhile, the court rejected an application filed by Dar requesting exemption from personal attendance in court hearings and said the case would be heard on a day-to-day basis after Muharram holidays.The hearing was subsequently adjourned till October 4.
On September 8, NAB had filed a reference against Dar, and three separate references against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his children.
In the reference against Dar, the NAB alleged that “the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests / resources in his own name and / or in the name of his dependants of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million (approx).” The reference alleged that the assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for.”
On Sept 18, the Lahore NAB wrote to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to remind them that since a reference was pending against him, “the bank accounts of Mr Dar may be cautioned”.Earlier, Dar appeared before the Accountability Court-I amid strict security arrangements. As Dar reached Federal Judicial Complex, which also houses the accountability court, media was not allowed to entered the complex.
The main gate of the complex was closed and even Dar was taken to the court from the rear gate of the building. Strict security arrangements have been made at the complex.