ISLAMABAD: The country’s top graft buster sought on Monday an accountability court’s confirmation for its order to freeze the assets, bank accounts and investments of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in Pakistan and abroad.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) issued a “freezing order” on October 18 regarding 30 bank accounts and assets of Dar, according to court documents.
While submitting the details of the moveable and immovable assets of Dar, his family, dependents and benamidars, NAB requested the court to endorse its action because “there is serious apprehension that the accused or his dependents/benamidars may dispose of, alienate, sell, create charge or change the status of the property”.
In the application, NAB listed the details of six bank accounts in Lahore and Islamabad, 13 assets within the country and seven assets and companies abroad. Dar has two Mercedes Benz, three Land Cruisers and a Toyota Corolla in the country. One of the Land Cruisers is registered in his wife’s name.
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The minister owns a two-kanal plot in Parliament Enclave, a two-kanal plot with Ayaz Builders, six acres in Mauza Milot in the capital, three plots in Alfalah Housing Society and a house in Gulberg, Lahore, a plot in Mauza Bhubtian measuring two kanals and 19 marlas and a plot in the Senate Cooperative Housing Society, Islamabad. The six-acre land in the capital was in Dar and his wife’s name, while the three plots in the Alfalah Housing Society were shared by the couple and their son Ali Mustafa Dar, the documents revealed.
Among the assets located abroad, the documents revealed that Dar owned a flat at Emirates Hill and an apartment at Jumairah, Dubai. He also owns a Bentley Arnage, a Mercedes and has two investments in Baraq Holding and one in Dar Al Nahayan (Pvt) Ltd.
NAB stated that Dar and his wife had made an investment of Rs3,453,060 in Hajveri Holding and Rs2,700 in the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Ltd.
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The bureau informed Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir that the assets “in the name of the accused Muhammad Ishaq Dar and/or his dependents/benamidars [are] disproportionate to his known sources of income, which he could not reasonably account for”.
It informed the court that while exercising powers under Section 12 of the NAB Ordinance of 1999, it had passed the order for freezing the property, bank accounts and investments. NAB said that after going through the entire record, statements of prosecution witnesses, incriminating material and documentary evidence with diligent application of mind, there were reasonable grounds to believe that prima facie the offences of corruption had been committed.
The NAB prosecutor asked the court to pass an order for confirmation of the “freezing order”. While supplying copy of the application to Dar’s counsel Khawaja Haris, the court fixed the hearing of arguments in this regard on October 30.
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The court also asked NAB to present a new witness, Muhammad Azeem Khan, on the next date of hearing while the defence counsel would complete the cross-examination of the two witnesses, Abdul Rehman Gondal and Masood Ghani, who appeared on Monday and recorded their statements. Haris enquired if the witnesses could present more documents required for concluding their cross-examination.
Gondal said the documents were packed in “two sacks” and asked if he should bring both of them. The court instructed him to bring the “two sacks of evidence” on the next date. Since both the witnesses sought time to present the documents, the court adjourned the case till October 30.
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