Accountability court records statement of witness in Dar’s graft case

  • The court has summoned two more witnesses on next hearing
  • Hearing of reference has been adjourned till Oct 12
  • IHC on Tuesday dismissed Dar's petition against proceedings of the accountability court
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The accountability court on Wednesday recorded statements of a witness of the prosecution in a corruption reference against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and adjourned the hearing till October 12.

Judge Mohammad Bashir resumed the hearing of the case but was forced to temporarily delayed the proceedings as the minister reached the court late.

The court had summoned two witnesses named Tariq Javed and Ishtiaq Ahmad to record their statements in the case on October 4.

During the hearing, two witnesses of the National Accountability Bureau ( NAB) appeared before the court, while Ishtiaq Ahmad, a former manger of Bank Alfalah, recorded his statement and was cross-examined by Dar’s counsel.

Ishtiaq Ahmad verified that the minister holds an account in the bank and his wife Tabassum Ishaq Dar possesses a company, HDS Securities Private Limited.

During the hearing, Dar said that he had opened an account with Bank Alfalah in 2005 but had closed it in 2006.

The court has also summoned two more witnesses along with Tariq Javed in the case on the next hearing.

Strict security measures have been taken ahead of the third appearance of the finance minister. It is notable that only police have been deployed around the judicial complex.

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.

NAB Reference

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.