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Ishaq Dar granted relief as court cancels arrest warrants

  • author1
  • 2022-10-07 14:24:07
  • Politics
Ishaq Dar granted relief as court cancels arrest warrants

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An accountability court in Islamabad on Friday quashed the arrest warrants issued against Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and federal finance minister Ishaq Dar after hearing the illegitimate assets case against him.

The minister appeared before the court under strict security measures and asked for the permanent cancellation of his arrest warrants.

"Ishaq Dar is now on trial," argued Dar"s lawyer Qazi Misbah.

Justice Mohammad Bashir questioned whether the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had itself issued arrest warrants for Dar, after which NAB investigator (IO) Nadir Abbas informed the court that the anti-graft body had indeed initially issued arrest warrants but that they were later suspended.

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"The court only issued the warrants to ensure Ishaq Dar"s participation," Misbah explained.

"What is your position now," the court asked, "should the orders be suspended or not?".

On the occasion, the NAB prosecutor also reiterated Misbah"s position that the purpose of the warrants was to ensure Dar"s presence in court and supported the quashing of the warrants.

"An additional reference has also been made that the charge sheet will have to be filed afresh," the judge noted.

"We"re going to argue that, the additional reference is not applicable," Dar"s lawyer said. He also added that the finance minister "has to travel outside the country for a conference".

The court then granted Dar"s plea and quashed the warrants as it ordered him to post a bond of Rs 1 million.

Notices issued by NAB

During today"s proceedings, Misbah also asked the court to stay the orders regarding the confiscation of the PML-N leader"s property.

Furthermore, the minister filed a request for permanent leave with the court.

Notices have been sent to NAB on both the applications seeking a response from the anti-corruption body at the next hearing scheduled for October 12.

Dar, who recently returned to Pakistan after spending nearly five years in the UK on "medical leave", was sworn in as a senator and finance minister amid shouting and shouting from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers.

The PML-N leader left the country in 2017 while on trial for corruption.

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It may also be noted that later that year, an accountability court declared Dar a proclaimed offender in a NAB reference after the former finance minister failed to appear despite repeated summons.

Earlier, the court upheld the freezing of Dar"s assets, properties, bank accounts and investments in Pakistan and abroad on NAB"s request, except for an account with the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR).

Submitting details of property and assets - movable and immovable - of Dar, his family, dependents, NAB asked the court to grant his plea as "there is serious apprehension that the accused or his family members may dispose, alienate, sell, create a charge or change the status of the property."

In an earlier application, NAB had given details of six bank accounts located in Lahore and Islamabad, 13 assets in Pakistan and seven assets/companies abroad.

In September 2017, an accountability court accused Dar of amassing assets beyond his known sources of income and ordered the prosecution to produce witnesses and evidence to prove its case.

Dar has pleaded guilty and is currently facing trial in a NAB case filed against him pursuant to the Supreme Court"s July 2017 judgment in the Panamagate case.

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