Pakistan

Accountability court issues detailed verdict over discarding Dar’s plea

Ishaq Dar

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court here on Saturday issued its detailed ruling on the plea filed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar who pleaded the court for continuation of graft reference trial in his absence on medical grounds.

Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir released the judgment in writing, which he read in the last hearing on Nov 8 while rejecting Dar’s request.

The minister is accused of possessing assets which are disproportionate to his known sources of income in a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in compliance with the Supreme Court orders.

Dar through his counsel Khawaja Harris had submitted a plea to seek an exemption from personal appearance before the court on the medical grounds, pleading the judge to continue the trial in the graft reference amid presence of his representative Zafir Khan Tareen.

A medical report was also submitted in the court.

However, NAB prosecutor Imran Shafeeq contended that the finance minister was deliberately skipping the proceedings and making the lame excuses.

The prosecutor then asked the court to issue ‘non-bailable’ arrest warrant for Dar.

Judge Muhammad Bashir after hearing arguments of both sides, rejected both pleas filed by the respondent and prosecution while directing Dar’s counsel to ensure Dar’s presence by next hearing on Nov 14 (Tuesday), besides submission of bail bond worth Rs2 million.

The judge had also directed the investigation officer to confirm the authenticity of the medical report.

In light of the medical report, the court was informed that Dar, who is in London, was suffering from cardiovascular disease and the doctors have advised him not to travel.

The judge then ordered Dar’s bail guarantor to ensure the minister’s presence in the next hearing, while issuing a warning that a surety bond of Rs5 million would be confiscated in case of a no-show.

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