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NAB witnesses provide more details of Dar’s bank accounts, income to court

ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) witnesses on Monday testified against former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar before an accountability court here in a corruption reference being heard by Judge Muhammad Bashir.

At the outset of the hearing, NAB witness Faisal Shahzad, a banker by profession, testified against Dar and provided the details of bank accounts operated under the name of Ishaq Dar and his wife.

The witness could not attend the last hearing due to his personal engagements.

Another witness, Director National Assembly Sher Dil Khan, also recorded his statement before the court.

He briefed the court about Dar’s salary as a Member National Assembly (MNA) back in 1990s. Khan said Dar was elected as an MNA from NA-95, Lahore constituency, for first time back in 1993 on Rs14,000 salary per month.

The NA director said he was re-elected as an MNA from NA-97 on January 15, 1997 and was given a ministry portfolio on February 5, 1997.

After his testimony, the third witness documented his statement before the court.

Deputy Director Commerce Qamar Zaman said Dar was appointed as in-charge of Board of Investment in 1997.

The third witness said Dar was given the portfolio of ‘Commerce Minister’ on July 11, 1997 and he was later appointed as Finance Minister in 1998.

He said Dar was sent packing on October 16, 1999 after Nawaz Sharif’s government was dismissed. The witness said Ishaq Dar was reappointed as Finance Minister in PPP-led government in 2008 but he resigned from the ministry on 13 September 2008.

Later, in 2013 Dar became Finance Minister for third time after PML-N gained power in General Elections 2013, the prosecution witness said.

Zaman said Dar’s resignation as Finance Minister was accepted recently in 2017.

The prosecution witness provided all copies of the notifications with regard to the aforementioned developments.

Another prosecution witness Deputy Secretary Cabinet Division Wasif Hussain recorded his statement before the court.

He submitted the details of various positions held by the former finance minister.

Before adjourning the hearing till Thursday, the accountability judge directed anti-corruption watchdog to submit its report pertaining to confiscation of properties owned by Ishaq Dar and his guarantor.

Former director NADRA Syed Qaboos Aziz will appear before the court as a prosecution witness in the next hearing.

Last hearing

On Thursday, the NAB witnesses testified against the former finance minister.

At the outset of the hearing, NAB witnesses Abdul Rehman and Masood Ghani recorded their statements before the court. The duo testified for the second time against Dar.

Another prosecution witness Azeem Khan, a manager at the private bank, submitted Dar’s three bank accounts details.

The witness said Dar’s first account was operated from 2001 to 2012, subsequently the second one from August 2012 to December 2016 while the third one from January 2017 to August 2017.

He also presented the details of Hajveri Holding Company’s account in the court, besides the record of the locker operated under the names of Dar and his wife.

Rehman also provided the income records of Dar from 2005 to 2017.

Dar’s declaration as proclaimed offender 

Earlier this week, the court had declared former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar a proclaimed offender in a corruption reference filed against him by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in compliance with Supreme Court’s landmark July 28 verdict.

At the outset of last hearing, Ishaq Dar’s lawyer submitted a plea to seek the delay in declaration of his client as a proclaimed offender along with a fresh medical report.

The counsel argued that his client was suffering from coronary artery disease and undergoing a treatment abroad, hence he could not attend the court proceedings.

NAB prosecutor Imran Shafique opposed the plea and asked the court to declare Dar a proclaimed offender for his perpetual absence.

Judge Muhammad Bashir then reserved a judgment on the plea submitted by Dar’s lawyer.

Later, he announced the verdict declaring Dar a proclaimed offender for his perpetual absence during the court proceedings.

The court also directed Dar’s bail guarantor Ahmad Ali Qudoosi to submit surety bail worth Rs5 million within three days.  

Previously, the court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants for him on November 14 and subsequently declared him an absconder on November 21.

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.

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