Wednesday Feb 14, 2018
ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) informed the accountability court conducting corruption proceedings against former finance minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Wednesday that it plans to file a supplementary reference in the case.
Dar is accused by NAB of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income. A reference against him was filed in September last year in light of the Supreme Court's July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case.
As Accountabity Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir began today's proceedings, the NAB prosecutor informed him that they require some time to present investigation officer (IO) Nadir Abbas in court, who was to record his statement today.
The hearing was then adjourned until 11:30am.
As the proceedings resumed later, the NAB prosecutor informed the court that they plan to submit a supplementary reference against the accused, adding that it will be better if the IO records his statement after that.
Moreover, the prosecution pleaded the court to issue warrants for the production of its last witness, Inamul Haq, as he had once again failed to appear in court to record his statement.
The court did not issue the warrants but gave a last warning to Haq to appear in court and adjourned the hearing until February 23.
Moreover, the court dismissed today Dar's plea to un-freeze his assets which were seized last year on NAB's orders owing to his continuous absence.
The judge had reserved the decision on the plea on on February 7. The court ruled that the the senator's assets will remain frozen and he will be unable to sell them.
At the last hearing on February 12, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Additional Director Wajid Zia, who headed the Panama case Joint Investigation Team (JIT), appeared before the court. Zia presented the volume one and nine of the JIT report and also recorded his statement.
Zia also informed the court of the work of the JIT related to the former finance minister, stating that Dar's assets were shown to be Rs9.1 million according to his wealth statement in 1991 and Rs831.6 million in the 2008-09 statement. He added Dar failed to prove the enormous growth in his assets before the JIT.
Dar, a key aide of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, was the finance minister when the reference was filed against him. However, he was later relieved of his duties. Dar is also set to retire from the Senate on March 11 this year, and at present, his nomination papers for re-election to the Senate have been rejected by the election commission.
Dar has been a no-show in the proceedings after he departed for London in October last year seeking medical treatment. He has since been declared a proclaimed offender.