ISLAMABAD – The accountability court on Wednesday resumed hearing of a corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for possessing assets beyond means.
As Judge Mohammad Bashir resumed hearing, it was informed to the court that Dar’s counsel, Khawaja Haris, did not appear in the court as he is in abroad.
Advocate Momina, member of Dar’s legal team, asked the court to adjourn the hearing, adding that it could record the statements of the witnesses, but Haris will cross-examine them in next hearing.
However, the NAB’s lawyer said that defense lawyer is not committed to the case, adding that he will appear before the court if his client is taken into custody.
When judge inquired about the arrival of Haris, the junior counsel said that he will come by Wednesday of next week.
Later, the court accepted the request of the defence lawyer and adjourned the case till Monday (October 23).
The court has summoned two of the prosecution witnesses Masoodul Ghani and Abdul Rahman Gondal – bank officials – to record their statements in the case.
Earlier, Shahid Aziz, Tariq Javed and Ishtiaq Ali have submitted their statement to the court, while cross examination has also been conducted by Dar’s counsel Khawaja Haris.
On September 27, the finance minister had been indicted for possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.
Dar had rejected the allegations levelled by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in its reference prepared following the orders of the Supreme Court in its July 28 verdict in Panamagate case.
The NAB authorities had provided a list of 28 witnesses in the case on which the court directed the prosecution to produce two of the witnesses on next hearing, which is scheduled for today.
Petition against Indictment
On October 3, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday dismissed two separate petitions of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar challenging his indictment and trial by an accountability court.
A division bench comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, while dismissing the petitions for being non-maintainable, suggesting that the petitioner should take up any objections with the monitoring judge of the Supreme Court.
According to the NAB reference, the accused had acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his name or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million as per the investigation conducted so far.
The assets are disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for, the reference said.