Accountability court declares Ishaq Dar proclaimed offender

Islamabad: The accountability court hearing a corruption reference against finance minister Ishaq Dar on Monday declared him a proclaimed offender due to his continued absence from the proceedings.

According to details, the court has also directed Dar to submit a surety bond of Rs5 million (Dh170,985) within three days, adding that in case of failure, the authorities would seize his assets.

Dar, who remains federal minister but has been in London for more than a month due to medical treatment, is accused by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of possessing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The court has also ordered Dar’s bail guarantor, Ahmad Qudoosi, to produce the suspect within three days, warning of a seizure of his Rs5 million surety bond if he fails to do so.

As the hearing began, Dar’s counsel, Qausain Faisal Mufti, submitted his client’s latest medical report in court and pleaded for a delay in the ‘proclaimed offender’ declaration.

Dar’s lawyer also said that the non-bailable arrest warrants issued by NAB were sent to the minister’s Lahore residence where he is not living at the moment.

He told the court Dar was suffering from chest pain and a minor issue in a coronary artery and, therefore, could not appear in court.

However, NAB special prosecutor Imran Shafique opposed the plea. He said Dar knew all the proceedings of court so that it was not necessary to send his warrant to London. He added every medical report of his had been different from the first one.

After listing arguments, accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir reserved the order.

Later announcing his decision, the judge declared Dar a proclaimed offender and ordered his bail guarantor to ensure his presence in court within three days or lose the surety bond of Rs5 million.

The court later adjourned the hearing until December 14.

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-i-Insaf’s Imran Khan, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Sirajul Haq and Awami Muslim League’s Shaikh Rashid Ahmad.

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