ISLAMABAD: The accountability court hearing the corruption case against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar adjourned proceedings until 12:30pm after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) investigation officer failed to appear in court.
As the hearing began, Judge Mohammad Bashir inquired from Dar’s pleader (legal representative), Ahmad Ali Qudoosi, when the minister will appear in court.
Qudoosi replied that Dar, presently in London for heart treatment, will full recover in three to six weeks.
The finance minister, who has skipped the previous three hearings on account of medical treatment, is accused by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income.
Moreover, during today’s hearing, NAB is expected to seek the endorsement of the seizure of two more assets of the minister — two plots on Lahore’s Raiwind Road.
At the last hearing, Dar’s secondary counsel, Ayesha Hamid, requested the court to grant her client exemption from appearance on medical grounds and continue with the case by approving the appointment of a legal representative (pleader).
However, Judge Mohammad Bashir dismissed the request and ordered the continuation of the bailable warrants.
He also ordered Dar’s guarantor to ensure the minister’s presence at the next hearing or be prepared to have the Rs5 million surety bond confiscated.
At the Nov 2 hearing, the accountability court approved NAB’s request to freeze Dar’s assets.
All accounts belonging to Dar, except those operated by accountant general revenue, were to be frozen after the court order.
The bureau froze the assets after its chairman ordered to do so on October 18 but it needed the court’s endorsement as according to NAB laws, the order is only valid for 15 days.
NAB was seeking the freezing of Dar’s six bank, properties and vehicles in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates as well as investments in both countries.
NAB has listed the properties and assets of Dar as follows: A house in Gulberg, Lahore, a two-kanal plot in Parliamentarians Enclave, Islamabad, a two-kanal plot with Ayaz Builders (Pvt) Ltd, a plot in Senate Cooperative Housing Society, Islamabad, a two kanal and 19 marla plot in the name of Mrs Tabassum Dar, three plots in Alflah Housing Society, Lahore owned by Dar, his wife and son Ali Mustafa Dar and six acres in Mouza Milot owned by him and his wife.
In the list of foreign properties and assets, the NAB mentioned a flat in Emirates Hills Dubai, owned by Dar, an apartment in Palm Jumairah Dubai, a 2003 Bentley Arnage car, a 2006 Mercedez, two sets of shares/investment in Baraq Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and shares/investments in Al-Nahayan owned by Ishaq Dar.
The list of cars in Pakistan include a 2004 Land Cruiser owned by Mrs Dar, a 1999 Land Cruiser, a 2004 Toyota Corolla, a 1998 Mercedez Benz, a 2008 Mercedez and a 2014 Land Cruiser.
Moreover, Dar and his wife have made an investment of Rs3,453,060 in Hajveri Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and Rs2,700 shares by in Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd.
NAB, in its application, had informed the court of serious apprehensions that the accused, his dependents/benamidars might dispose of, alienate, sell, create charge or change the status of the properties/investments.
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