Ishaq Dar assets reference: Court summons three prosecution witnesses

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court resumed hearing a corruption reference pertaining to owning assets beyond means against former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

As Judge Muhammad Bashir of Accountability Court I began hearing the case, the prosecution presented its witnesses in Judge Muhammad Bashir’s court.

Co-accused in the case, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood, and Mansoor Rizvi, were also present in Accountability Court-I.

Prosecution witness Faisal Shehzad — employee of a private bank — recorded his statement. He presented details of the account and cheque. Lawyer Qazi Misbah asked the witness if he had prepared the transaction details himself. To this, Shehzad replied in negative.

Summoning prosection witnesses Muhammad Ishtiaq, Umar Daraz, Qamar Zaman, the court adjourned the hearing till August 15.

Six other witnesses had earlier recorded their statements. The prosecution’s witnesses include Ali Akram Bhandar, Qamar Zaman, Faisal Shehzad, Mirza Faiz-ur-Rehman, Inam-ul-Haq, Shakeel Anjum, and Azhar Hussain.

The case

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed an interim reference against Dar — a close aide of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif — in September last year in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28, 2017, verdict in the Panama Papers case.
The supplementary reference is based on seven volumes and includes the account details of the accused persons, with transactions amounting to $4.06 million, according to NAB’s Special Prosecutor Imran Shafiq.
On July 10, the Supreme Court ordered a six-week extension for Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the corruption references against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Dar.
In the supplementary reference, NAB named National Bank of Pakistan President Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Rizvi as co-accused. All three are accused of aiding Dar in opening fictitious bank accounts and transferring money abroad.
Dar was re-elected to the Senate of Pakistan but is yet to take oath as he has been in London since October last year on medical grounds.
On May 8, however, the Supreme Court, while hearing a petition against the acceptance of Dar’s nomination papers, temporarily suspended Dar’s Senate membership and ordered him to appear in court.