Panama Papers case: Pakistan finance minister Ishaq Dar appears before accountability court

Islamabad: Ishaq Dar, Pakistan's embattled Finance Minister and ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif's close aide, indicted in a graft case in the Panama Papers scandal, today appeared before an anti-corruption court in Islamabad for the seventh time.

The National Accountability Court had indicted Dar last month in the case pertaining to his owning assets "beyond his known sources of income". At Monday's hearing, the anti-corruption watchdog National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecution presented two new witnesses against the 67-year-old minister, the Dawn reported.

File photo of Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Reuters

File photo of Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Reuters

The NAB on 8 September filed the case against Dar following the 28 July verdict of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case that indicted Sharif and his family. The apex court had also disqualified Sharif and ordered corruption cases against him, his children Maryam, Husain and Hasan and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar.

The first witness, Abdul Rehman Gondal, branch manager of a private bank's parliament branch, has completed his statement and is being cross-examined by Dar's counsel Khawaja Haris, the report said.

Gondal provided details of the account held by Dar in the bank. He informed the court that the NAB had summoned him along with relevant documents on 16 August and he submitted the requisite record concerning Dar to the investigating officer.

Gondal said he had provided bank statements of Dar from 25 March, 2005 to 16 August, 2017 to the NAB. The bank transaction details provided by the witness were made part of case record by the court, the report said.

The court directed to him appear in the next hearing with additional record. The second witness, Masood Ghani, the operations manager in a private bank, gave his testimony regarding Dar's bank record.

His cross-examination could not be completed today and the court ordered him to appear in the next hearing with the record sought by the defence counsel.

The hearing was subsequently adjourned till 30 October, the report said. The court had on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of the graft cases till 23 October after the minister's senior counsel left the country in a rush.

In the preceding hearing of the case, Haris had cross-questioned Al-Baraka Islamic Bank's assistant vice-president Tariq Javed — the prosecution's third witness.

On 19 October, the anti-graft court had indicted Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law in a corruption case related to the Avenfield properties in London.

The case was one of the three cases registered by the NAB on 8 September against 67-year-old Sharif, his children and son-in-law in the Accountability Court in Islamabad.


Updated Date: Oct 23, 2017 15:25 PM

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