Court is­sues ar­rest war­rant for Dar

Khaleej Times - - FRONT PAGE -

is­lam­abad — An anti-cor­rup­tion court in Pak­istan on Tues­day is­sued an ar­rest war­rant for Fi­nance Min­is­ter Ishaq Dar, me­dia re­ported, af­ter the vet­eran politi­cian failed to turn up for sev­eral court hear­ings.

Dar, who has been charged with amass­ing wealth be­yond his known sources of in­come, has for three weeks missed court hear­ings con­ducted by the anti-graft agency, the Na­tional Ac­count­abil­ity Bureau (NAB), prompt­ing a judge to is­sue a non-bail­able ar­rest war­rant.

Dar, who is re­ceiv­ing med­i­cal treat­ment in London and now faces ar­rest upon his re­turn to Pak­istan, has pleaded not guilty.

The hear­ing had been de­layed as NAB’s in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cer was un­able to reach the ac­count­abil­ity court on time. The NAB pros­e­cu­tor had told the court that the of­fi­cer was trav­el­ling from Lahore to Is­lam­abad for the hear­ing and had got­ten de­layed due to smog.

The case will now be heard on Novem­ber 21. Dur­ing ear­lier pro­ceed­ings, the ac­count­abil­ity court judge, Mo­ham­mad Bashir, had asked Ahmed Ali Qud­dusi who ap­peared on Dar’s be­half as a pleader when the fi­nance min­is­ter may be ex­pected to ap­pear in court.

In re­sponse, Qud­dusi had said that, ac­cord­ing to a Novem­ber 6 re­port from a pri­vate hos­pi­tal in London, Dar’s re­cov­ery is ex­pected to take an­other six or eight weeks.

Dar’s ab­sence was first at­trib­uted to ill health on Oc­to­ber 30, when the fi­nance min­is­ter failed to ap­pear be­fore the court for a hear­ing. His coun­sel, Khawaja Har­ris, had in­formed the judges that the fi­nance min­is­ter had been ad­mit­ted to a pri­vate hos­pi­tal in London.

On July 28, a five-mem­ber Supreme Court bench had or­dered NAB to file three ref­er­ences against for­mer prime min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif and one against Dar, on petitions filed by Pak­istan Tehreek-iIn­saf’s Im­ran Khan, Ja­maat-i-Is­lami’s Si­ra­jul Haq and Awami Mus­lim League’s Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

In its ref­er­ence against the fi­nance min­is­ter, NAB has al­leged that “the ac­cused has ac­quired as­sets and pe­cu­niary in­ter­ests/re­sources in his own name and/or in the name of his de­pen­dents of an ap­prox­i­mate amount of Rs831.678 mil­lion (ap­prox)”. — Reuters, APP

AFP

Ishaq Dar. —

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