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Accountability court to formally indict Ishaq Dar on Sep 27

26 September, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The accountability court in Islamabad on Monday set September 27 to formally indict Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in a reference against him over possessing assets beyond known sources of income.

The court, while providing copies of the reference and other material consisting of 23 volumes to Dar, said it intended to conduct hearing in the reference on day-to-day basis to wrap up the trial within the stipulated time of six months.

Upon request of Dar’s counsel Amjad Pervez to extend time for indictment (framing of charges), judge Muhammad Bashir asked, “Will you plead guilty when charges will be framed?”

The court directed the finance minister to submit Rs 5 million to ensure his presence in the trial. In compliance with the bailable arrest warrants issued earlier, Dar’s counsel submitted bonds of Rs1 million to secure the bail. The court will resume hearing on September 27 when charges will be framed against Dar.

After appearing before the court, Dar declined to talk to the media. However his counsel Amjad Pervez said they expected the court to dispense justice. To a query, he said no one will object to day-to-day proceedings if all tenets of justice were adhered to.

On the occasion, a heavy contingent of police was deployed around the court while media representatives were barred from entering the court premises.

Dar returned to the country from London on Sunday night along with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Earlier on Sep 20, the court had issued bailable arrest warrants against Dar after he failed to appear before it in compliance with a summons issued to him earlier. The court, however, had directed to furnish a bail bond of Rs 1 million and directed the authorities concerned to arrest and produce the accused on September 25. The court had warned that non-bailable arrest warrants against the accused would be issued if he failed to appear on Sep 25.

A corruption reference was filed by NAB against Dar in compliance with the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case. Dar is accused of possessing assets beyond his known sources of income.

In its report to the Supreme Court, the joint investigation team (JIT), which probed the Panama Papers case, pointed out an exorbitant increase in Dar’s assets from year 2008 to 2009. The NAB also seized bank accounts and other properties of Dar as the court initiated proceedings against him in the graft reference.

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