ISLAMABAD: An accountability court resumed today the trial of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in a graft reference against him for having assets beyond known sources of income.
The Minister, accompanied by PML-N leaders, arrived at the court at around 8:00 am amid tight security.
Judge Muhammad Bashir recorded the statements of two witnesses – Al-Baraka Bank Senior Vice-President Tariq Javed and Shahid Aziz of the National Investment Trust (NIT), who testified against Dar. His lawyer, Khawaja Harris, cross-examined the witnesses.
At the last hearing, the judge had recorded the statement of prosecution witness Ishtiaq Ali, one of a total of 16 prosecution witnesses who would testify in the case.
Last week, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed two separate petitions of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar against his indictment by an accountability court in a graft reference.
The minister through his counsel Khawaja Haris had contended that his client was not allowed the minimum seven days to peruse the reference and voluminous reports before his indictment in the case under section of 265-C of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Thus, he pleaded the court to set aside his indictment.
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.
The court is scheduled to indict former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Muhammad Safdar in graft references on Oct 13 (tomorrow).
It had declared the former prime minister’s sons – Hussain and Hassan – fugitive over their persistent absence from the proceedings.
The court granted the request of NAB prosecutor to initiate proceedings to declare the absconding accused proclaimed offenders and order attachment of their properties.
Sharif and his sons have been nominated in all three references, while Maryam and her husband have been named only in a reference related to the family’s London flats.