Three co-accused in Dar assets accumulation case escaped indictment for third time


—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: The three co-accused in former finance minister Senator Ishaq Dar assets accumulation case escaped indictment for third time on Friday due to absence of their lawyer as the accountability court hearing the case against Ishaq Dar was expected to indict the co-accused named in the supplementary reference against the former finance minister.

Accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir conducted hearing of the case. The co-accused National Bank president Saeed Ahmad, Mansoor Raza and Naeem Mehmood appeared before the court

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed an interim reference against Dar in September last year on the Supreme Court’s directives in the Panama Papers case.

In a supplementary reference filed recently, 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.

During the hearing the co-accused lawyer Hashmat Habib was absent from the proceedings. The assistant lawyer requested the court to adjourn the hearing for a day.

NAB prosecutor while opposing the pleas asked the court to indict the three suspects in the case as the presence of lawyer on the occasion is not legally necessary.

“What difference will a day make? You usually appear before the court on daily basis,” replied the judge to NAB prosecutor.

The assistant lawyer told the court that they have yet not received the order of Islamabad High Court whereas NAB has also approached IHC for the copy.

Hopefully we will receive the order’s copy today, he added.

Saeed Ahmad also requested the court to provide them a chance so that they can see IHC’s order.

“I know that there is nothing in the order. Your petition has been dismissed by the IHC,” remarked the judge. “You people also enjoy coming to court on every hearing and then request to adjourn indictment,” the judge said to the suspects.

“We also face difficulty from the adjournment as we have to travel from Lahore to Islamabad on every hearing,” answered the suspects.

The court directed the suspects’ assistant lawyer to submit written plea pertaining to adjournment of hearing and absence of lawyer. The hearing was postponed till April 2 after the lawyer complied by the orders.—INP