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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court, on Wednesday, reserved its judgement on acquittal pleas filed by co-accused in corruption case against former finance minister Ishaq Dar under recently-promulgated National Accountability (second amendment) Ordinance 2021.

The Accountability Court-I judge, Muhammad Bashir, while hearing the case reserved its judgement till December 8 after the defence counsels of the three co-accused persons including former president National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Rizvi - two directors of Dar’s companies and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor completed their arguments over acquittal filed by the accused.

During the hearing, the defence counsel told the court that following promulgation of the National Accountability (second amendment) Ordinance, the reference against the co-accused be rejected as they have no connection with public officeholder.

NAB prosecutor Afzal Qureshi, while arguing before the court said that the co-accused have remained director and shareholder of the main accused’s companies as well as there are concrete evidence of their connection with him.

He further told the court that the same court had also earlier rejected the acquittal pleas of the co-accused.

After promulgation of the National Accountability (second amendment) Ordinance 2021 the case falls under the jurisdiction of NAB, he said, adding that there is provision in CrPC keeping white-collar crimes on hold.

The prosecutor requested the court to reject the applications and hear the final arguments with respect to completion of trial of the case. The court adjourned hearing of the case till December 8, after completion of the argument of defence and prosecution.

The three co-accused in the case including former president National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) - Saeed Ahmed, Mehmood, and Rizvi were nominated as co-accused in the supplementary reference filed against Dar by the NAB.

The court on April 5, 2018 had indicted the three accused.

The court has already declared Dar the main accused in the case, a proclaimed offender, for continuously remaining absent during court proceedings.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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