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NAB recorded statements of three more witnesses against Ishaq Dar

23 January, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: The accountability court on Monday recorded the statements of three more prosecution witnesses, who testified against the former finance minister Senator Ishaq Dar, who faces a corruption reference for having assets beyond his declared and known sources of income.

After recording the statements, court judge Muhammad Bashir directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor Imran Shafique to produce more witnesses against the accused at the next hearing.

The court also issued notices to the National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) Warehouse and Operations director and adjourned the hearing till January 26. Out of total 28 prosecution witnesses, 13 have so far recorded their statements.

In his statement, one of the prosecution witnesses, Ali Akbar Bhinder, an assistant commissioner in Lahore, stated that in response to the NAB summons, he appeared before the NAB’s Lahore office in August 2017 and presented the record of properties being owned by the spouse of Ishaq Dar.

He said according to the record he presented before the bureau, Dar’s wife Tabassum Ishaq, had a two kanal and 19 marla property in Tehsil Mauzoo Bhattiyan.

Syed Qaboos Aziz, an official of NADRA, who is facing suspension, and Faisal Shehzad, an employee of a private bank, also recorded their statements. The statement of Syed Qaboos Aziz will be completed on next hearing.

A corruption reference was filed against Ishaq Dar following the Supreme Court’s July 28, 2017 orders in the Panama Papers case. Dar is absent from the trail since October last year, when he went abroad for medical treatment.

Dar, a close aide of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, is accused of possessing assets disproportionate to his declared sources of income. A reference against him was filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case. Dar has not been attending the court proceedings after he departed for London in October last year seeking medical treatment.

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