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Dar declared proclaimed offender.

ISLAMABAD -- Islamabad Accountability Court on Monday declared Finance Minister Ishaq Dar a proclaimed offender for his incessant skipping court proceedings in a corruption case against him.

The court gave a final chance to his guarantor to bring him to the court on December 14, otherwise, his surety bond of Rs5 million would be forfeited.

At the outset of hearing of NAB's assets-beyond-means reference against Dar , defence counsel Qosain Mufti presented a fresh medical report of the minister and sought exemption from his personal appearance in the court.

The court rejected the report as the special prosecutor of National Accountably Court opposed it and contended that the accused was deliberately avoiding court proceedings.

Every time the defence counsel comes up with a new medical report of the accused which even did not match with the other ones issued earlier, NAB prosecutor Imran Shafique held.

Dar's counsel defending the medical report said that they had offered the prosecution to get the medical report of Dar verified but they showed little interest in it. He submitted that Dar underwent an MRI test while a few more tests had been suggested by his doctors as he was having some serious problem in his main heart artery.

NAB special prosecutor told the court that they had served court notices at the Lahore and Islamabad residences of the accused but he was wilfully avoiding the court proceedings.

The defence counsel interrupted over this and said that Dar was right now in London and sending court notices at his Lahore residence would not serve the purpose.

The special prosecutor said that the accused was aware of all the developments regarding the trial. He said that the objection of the defence was irrelevant.

He prayed to the court to declare Dar a proclaimed offender and initiate proceedings against him under Section 512 of NAB Ordinance.

The court reserved judgment after hearing arguments and later declared Dar a fugitive for absconding court proceedings.

The court directed prosecution to initiate trial against him in absentia and record statements of witnesses under Section 512.

Under the NAB Ordinance, the prosecution could seek initiation of the trial against the accused in absentia under Section 31-A of NAB Ordinance under which the court could award him imprisonment in absentia for three years.

The NAB had instituted a corruption reference against Dar in the light of July 28 verdict of the apex court in the Panama Papers case. It was alleged that Dar had amassed assets worth Rs931 million in a short span of time which did not commensurate with his known sources of income.

IHC issues notices to NAB on Dar's plea:

The Islamabad High Court on Monday dismissed former finance minister Ishaq Dar's request for exemption from his appearance before the accountability court hearing corruption case against him.

However, the division bench of the IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb issued notices to NAB seeking reply over the petition which had also challenged ATC's issuing his arrest warrants.

The bench directed the NAB to submit its reply within one week and deferred the hearing till December 20.

Qausain Faisal Mufti, the counsel for Dar , had filed the petition on December 2, praying it to set aside the accountability court's non-bailable arrest warrants, as well as the issuance of a proclamation against him.
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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Dec 12, 2017
Words:628
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