Three including NBP president indicted in Ishaq Dar corruption case
ISLAMABAD: The accountability court on Thursday indicted three co-accused in corruption case against former finance minister Ishaq Dar. The hearing of the case was adjourned several times before the verdict was finally announced today.
All the three co-accused – National Bank president Saeed Ahmad and Naeem Mehmood, Mansoor Raza Rizvi pleaded not guilty against the charges. The trio faced charges of aiding Dar in opening fictitious bank accounts and transferring money abroad.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed an interim reference against Dar in September 2017 on the Supreme Court’s directives in the Panama Papers case.
In today’s hearing, the NBP president informed the court that he had challenged his indictment in the Supreme Court, but the accountability court judge ruled that proceedings would continue until further directions from the apex court.
Third accused in the case, Mansoor Raza Rizvi, submitted an unconditional apology in the court over his counsel’s altercation with the judge in the last hearing. He further informed that Javed Akbar Shah was no longer his legal counsel.
The hearing was adjourned till April 11.
Background: Corruption case against Dar
The accountability court in September last year indicted then finance minister Ishaq Dar for accumulating assets beyond his known sources of income. However Dar pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) reference filed against him on the orders of the Supreme Court in its July 28 judgment in Panamagate case.
It was closed-door hearing and only Dar, his counsel, a group of supporting lawyers, and federal State Minister Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, were allowed entry into the court. The main gate of the Federal Judicial Complex, where the court is located, was not opened to journalists.
In the reference, NAB has alleged that Dar “acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million (approx) as per investigation conducted so far”.
The reference said that Dar’s assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for”. The country’s top graft-buster added that it has yet to determine the role of National Bank of Pakistan president and others over their alleged involvement in “aiding and abetting” the finance minister in making a 91-fold increase in his assets.