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Graft trial: Court orders NAB to produce witnesses against Dar in next hearing

ISLAMABAD: As the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has ended its stay on accountability proceedings against defunct Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, an accountability court here on Thursday resumed the hearing of graft reference against him filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in compliance with the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict.

In a brief hearing today, Judge Mohammad Bashir asked NAB prosecutor Imran Shafique to summon four prosecution witnesses in the next hearing.

To which, Shafique informed the judge that the statements of as many as 10 witnesses have been documented out of 28.

The judge then sought reply from NAB prosecutor to a plea submitted by Dar, seeking reopening of frozen bank accounts of his charity Hajvery Trust.

Later, the hearing was adjourned till January 24.

Earlier, the IHC had restrained the accountability court from proceeding against the former finance minister till further orders.

The restraining order had come on a petition filed by Dar challenging the trial court’s order that declared him a proclaimed offender over his perpetual absence from the trial proceedings in the assets reference.

On Wednesday, the IHC permitted the accountability court to resume ex parte proceedings against Dar after discarding his plea to suspend his declaration as proclaimed offender by the accountability court in the graft reference.

A two-judge bench of IHC, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb, heard the plea

During the court proceedings, Justice Athar Minaullah said the country has reliable medical facilities and skillful cardiologists. He asked whether Ishaq Dar does not have faith in the local doctors.

To which, Dar’s counsel contended that the constitution grants this right to his client to get treatment from a doctor of his choice. He also submitted a medical report.

On the occasion, Justice Miangul Hasan Aurangzeb said it apparently seemed the medical report has been drafted at the whims of the former finance minister.

The bench also ended its stay order on the accountability proceedings against Dar.

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 anti-corruption watchdog has nominated Dar in a graft reference for possessing the assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

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