ISLAMABAD - An accountability court in Islamabad on Monday issued bailable arrest warrants for Finance Minister Ishaq Dar after he skipped the court proceedings in a corruption reference filed against him by the NAB.

The accountability court adjourned the hearing in the case till November 2.

The court stopped short of forfeiting his surety bond of Rs5 million and issued a notice to his guarantor to appear before the court at the next date of hearing.

On Monday, when the court took up the corruption reference against Dar, his counsel Khawaja Harris informed the court that he was abroad in connection with his medical check-up. The petitioner counsel moved an application seeking an exemption for his client for the day’s hearing. The court, however, rejected the defence counsel plea and issued bailable arrest warrants for the accused.

Dar was in Tajikistan on Friday last to attend a conference, from where he moved to Jeddah and then to London to attend the PML-N top leaders meeting with former premier Nawaz Sharif.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other top leaders of the PML-N had gathered in London to devise a strategy to deal with political and legal issues facing the party and the Sharif family.

Dar has continuously been attending court proceedings, and so far, he has appeared before the court for seven times. It was the first hearing on Monday which he skipped on “health grounds”.

Prosecution witnesses were present in the courtroom at the time of the hearing and one of them had brought the record with him. At the previous hearing, the court had sought the record from him.

The witnesses, Azeem Khan of Bank Al Falah and Faisal Shehzad of Habib Metropolitan Bank were expected to record their statements against Dar. Kh Harris was supposed to complete cross-examination of the witnesses appeared at the previous hearing.

All the witnesses will now reappear before the court on November 2.

The court would also take up arguments, on a reply from the defence side, on NAB chairman’s order to freeze the assets of Dar. The NAB had submitted a plea in the court seeking its endorsement of the bureau’s October 18 order directing to freeze Dar and his family’s assets.

The NAB has been seeking the endorsement of the court as the NAB chairman’s order stated: “This order shall remain in force for a period not exceeding 15 days and it shall be filed in the court of learned judge, Accountability Court No 1, Islamabad for its confirmation as required under 1st proviso to Section 12(C) of NAO, 1999.”

 

 

 

NAB court issues arrest warrants for ‘ill’ Dar