ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Monday issued bailable warrants for the arrest of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar after he failed to turn up before it for hearing in a graft reference.
At the outset, Dar’s lawyer Khawaja Haris filed an application on behalf of his client seeking exemption from personal appearance before the court.
Haris told Judge Muhammad Bashir that Dar has gone to London for a medical check-up after he experienced acute chest pain. He, thus, cannot show up before the court today, the counsel said and requested it to grant him exemption.
Opposing the plea, NAB’s deputy prosecutor asked the judge to issue warrants for the arrest of the finance minister.
The judge rejected the application and issued bailable warrants against Ishaq Dar. The hearing was adjourned till Thursday.
At the last hearing, the court had recorded the statements of two NAB witnesses, including Masood ul Ghani of Habib Bank and Abdul Rehman Gondal of Allied Bank, who were also cross-examined by Dar’s counsel.
The two witnesses had presented in court the finance minister’s account opening forms, covering letters, signature specimen cards, statements of accounts and others details.
NAB was to produce today two more prosecution witnesses, Azeem Khan of Bank AlFalah and Faisal Shehzad of Habib Metropolitan Bank, to have their statements recorded.
The prosecution team of NAB had earlier submitted a list of 28 witnesses against Dar, out of which five witnesses have so far recorded their statements.
On Oct 23, the accountability court had issued notice to Ishaq Dar to submit response on an application seeking court’s approval for NAB chairman’s order of Oct 18 freezing the assets of Dar and family.
On Oct 18, NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal had ordered freezing properties, assets and bank accounts of Dar and his family members.
Subsequently, NAB filed application in the court, requesting it to confirm freezing of the accounts.
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.