ISLAMABAD -  Accountability Court Islamabad on Wednesday could not proceed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in a corruption reference as the defence counsel left for a foreign visit for some personal reason. Subsequently, the hearing was adjourned for October 23.

On the court’s direction, prosecution witnesses Abdul Rehman Gondal and Masoodul Ghani were present before the court for recording their statements but Advocate Momina, junior member of Ishaq Dar’s legal team, sought adjournment in the case till October 25 owing to the non-availability of defence counsel Kh. Haris.

The court, however, adjourned the hearing till October 23 with directing all to ensure their presence on next the date. According to Momina, Kh. Haris would return on October 22.

She further submitted to the court that the court may record statements of the witnesses present in the court and on return Kh. Haris would cross-examine these witnesses on the next date of hearing.

The prosecution objected to it and said under the law the recording of witnesses statements and their corss-examination would go simultaneously.

During the proceedings, the court also called Ishaq Dar to the rostrum and asked him why his lawyer had failed to appear in court. Dar said that his lawyer had to leave the country "due to some emergency".

The NAB prosecutor commented that Khawaja Haris is not committed with the case.

However, Advocate Momina rejected this claim saying he (Haris) had to go abroad urgently.

The NAB prosecutor asked the court to arrest the accused, and said his counsel will then come back. The judge asked Ishaq Dar for appointing a new lawyer to plead the case. The finance minister replied that he trusts Khawaja Haris and will not change him.

On the other hand, the security during the hearings of high-profile cases of Ishaq Dar and Sharif family has become a problem for district administration. The deputy commissioner of the federal capital has earlier written a letter to judge Muhammad Bashir, who is hearing Dar’s case, to take necessary safety measures.

Judge Muhammad Bashir remarked that the court should be told what kind of security is required during the hearings.

 

 

Our Staff Reporter