Pakistan

Media ban on Dar graft trial ‘unconstitutional’, says Babar Awan

Babar Awan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) counsel Babar Awan on Wednesday expressed grave concern over ban on media from covering the accountability court proceedings against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

Speaking to media persons outside the Supreme Court, Awan said that it is beyond his understanding as why the journalists were prohibited from entering the courtroom.

“A ban on media coverage cannot be imposed until a written order is issued,” he further said while calling it sheer violation of Article-19 A.

He inferred from the ban on media coverage that the ruling party did not want the facts to get public in connection with the graft case against Dar.

“Bringing the suspect from judges’ gate into courtroom amounts to contempt of court,” Awan added.

Without taking name of former PM Nawaz Sharif, he said that another accused appeared before the court amid stringent security measures just a day before.

“Only the difference is this time, authorities prevented media to cover the proceedings against Dar,” he observed.

Court indicts Dar in graft case

Earlier today, the accountability court indicted Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in a reference filed against him by the anti-graft body for having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Ishaq Dar

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, center, arrives to appear in an accountability court in Islamabad.

Judge Muhammad Bashir read out charges against the minister, which he denied and opted to contest them.

The court directed the prosecution side to produce two of its witnesses on next hearing to record their depositions and adjourned the hearing until Oct 4.

Accompanied by State Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Anusha Rahman, Barrister Zafarullah, and Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Dar reached the court amid tight security.

The finance minister had appeared before the court after it issued bailable warrants for his arrest. He had submitted a surety bond worth Rs1 million to seek bail in the case.

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