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ISLAMABAD: The Accountability Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of corruption case against former finance minister Ishaq Dar, after it was informed by the defence counsel that as per media reports the key accused has decided to return to Pakistan from the UK.

The same court on December 10, 2017 had declared Dar the main accused as proclaimed offender for continuously remaining absent during court proceedings. The court indicted the three co-accused including co-accused persons including former president National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Saeed Ahmed, and Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Rizvi – the two directors of Dar’s companies on April 4, 2018.

The Accountability Court-I judge, Muhammad Bashir, while hearing the case against Dar and others for holding assets beyond means adjourned till April 27. Afzal Qureshi prosecutor National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Investigation Officer (IO) Nadir Abbas, and Qazi Misbah counsel for the co-accused appeared before the court.

At the start of the hearing, the counsel of the co-accused Qazi Misbah told the court that it has been learnt through media that the key accused, - after former Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted through no-confidence vote and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shehbaz Sharif became new the prime minister - has decided to return to Pakistan and if he returns then proceedings of the case will be changed. He requested the court that the case may be adjourned and did not announce its judgment on acquittal application of the co-accused.

On this, the judge asked the NAB prosecutor about Dar’s return to the country. The prosecutor replied that we are also hearing news of Dar’s return to the country through media. The defence counsel also did not presented its final arguments before court regarding the acquittal applications of the co-accused.

The three co-accused who were nominated in the supplementary reference filed against Dar by the NAB, had challenged the reference under the National Accountability (second and third amendment) Ordinances 2021. The court adjourned the hearing of case till April 27.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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