Prosecution witnesses record statements in assets reference against Dar

ISLAMABAD: Prosecution witnesses along with three others, accused in NAB’s supplementary reference against former finance minister Ishaq Dar for possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income, recorded their statements today.

A supplementary reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the corruption reference against Dar accuses the former finance minister and the three co-accused for corruption amounting to $4.06 million.

Dar, who was declared a proclaimed offender in the corruption case after he left the country in October 2017 on account of his medical treatment, failed to appear before the accountability court today.

As the case resumed, the prosecution presented four of its witnesses in Judge Muhammad Bashir’s court. Co-accused in the case, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood, and Mansoor Rizvi, were also present in Accountability Court-I.

The court ordered lawyers of the co-accused to present their arguments. A notice was then issued on the petitions for the acquittal of the three accused in the case, including Dar.

The statements of three witnesses were recorded, following which, the case was adjourned till July 18.

The case

NAB filed an interim reference against Dar — a close aide of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif — in September last year in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28, 2017, verdict in the Panama Papers case.

The supplementary reference is based on seven volumes and includes the account details of the accused persons, with transactions amounting to $4.06 million, according to NAB’s Special Prosecutor Imran Shafiq.

On July 10, the Supreme Court ordered a six-week extension for Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the corruption references against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Dar.

In the supplementary reference, NAB named National Bank of Pakistan President Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Rizvi as co-accused. All three are accused of aiding Dar in opening fictitious bank accounts and transferring money abroad.

Dar was re-elected to the Senate of Pakistan but is yet to take oath as he has been in London since October last year on medical grounds.

On May 8, however, the Supreme Court, while hearing a petition against the acceptance of Dar’s nomination papers, temporarily suspended Dar’s Senate membership and ordered him to appear in court.