ISLAMABAD: The defense counsel on Wednesday completed the cross-examination of witness Masood Al-Ghani,who is associated with a private bank, in the assets reference against former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed an interim reference against the then-finance minister in September last year on the Supreme Court’s directives in the Panama
Later, in a supplementary reference, NAB named National Bank of Pakistan President Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Rizvi as co-accused in the case. Mehmood and Rizvi are directors of a company owned by Dar.
During the hearing on Wednesday, defense counsel Qazi Misbah completed his cross-examination of Masood Al-Ghani, who is associated with a private bank.
Moreover, Adnan Shuja, assistant lawyer of Hashmat Habib, the counsel of the co-accused in the case including President National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Raza, also asked the court’s permission to take leave for Umrah.
Responding to the request, accountability judge Muhammad Bashir remarked that senior lawyer Hashmat Habib is already not appearing before the court due to health problems. “The trial is ongoing, how can you leave at this stage.”
The court adjourned hearing of the supplementary reference till June 6.
Dar, a close aide of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz supremo Nawaz Sharif, is accused of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income.
NAB filed an interim reference against Dar in September last year in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28, 2017, verdict in the Panama Papers case.
The recently-filed supplementary reference is based on seven volumes and includes the account details of the accused persons, with transactions amounting to $4.06 million, according to NAB’s Special Prosecutor Imran Shafiq.
The three accused in the supplementary reference are identified as directors of Dar’s companies and accused of opening fictitious accounts in his name.
Dar was recently re-elected to the Senate of Pakistan but is yet to take oath as he has been in London since October last year on medical grounds.
On May 8, however, the Supreme Court, while hearing a petition against the acceptance of Dar’s nomination papers, temporarily suspended Dar’s Senate membership and ordered him to appear in court.—INP