ISLAMABAD: As the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Prosecutor General Waqas Kabir Dar Monday (today) submitted a hand-written application by the finance minister to chairman NAB seeking pardon in April 2000.
The NAB claimed before the apex court that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was the prosecution witness in the Rs1.2 billion Hudaibiya scam case against the Sharif family.
Presenting his arguments before a five-judge bench hearing the Panamagate case, Dar’s counsel Shahid Hamid asserted that his client cannot be disqualified on the basis of these allegations because the money laundering case against him had been dropped.
“He [Ishaq Dar] cannot be disqualified based on allegations,” the advocate said. “Ishaq Dar did not hold public office when allegations of money laundering were made.”
Hamid maintained that Dar’s confessional statement could not be used against him since he had been acquitted in the Hudaibiya reference.
“According to section 26 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Ishaq Dar cannot stand trial again,” Shahid Hamid told the bench as he concluded his arguments.
Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan observed that Dar’s confessional statement could be used against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as circumstantial evidence.
The NAB Prosecutor General Waqas Qadeer Dar, who had been summoned to court Friday, today recorded a statement in court.
The NAB PG told the court that Ishaq Dar had recorded a statement regarding the Hudaibiya reference before a district magistrate in Lahore on April 25, 2000.
Dar had, in his statement, confessed to his alleged involvement in the money laundering of $14.86 million (about Rs1.2bn) on behalf of the Sharif family.
Waqas Qadeer Dar told the court that Ishaq Dar had submitted a request for acquittal in the case on April 20.
Justice Asif Saeed asked whether Ishaq Dar had written the request himself.
The bench further inquired why no appeals were registered by the NAB, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan or the State Bank of Pakistan.
The prosecutor general told the court that it was decided during a NAB session that no appeals would be registered in the Hudaibiya case.
The prosecutor general was ordered to submit the minutes of the NAB session he was referring to in court.
During today’s hearing, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Makhdoom Ali Khan submitted a record detailing the distribution of the Sharif family’s inherited properties.
Further, the bench summoned NAB to present the entire record of Hudaibiya papers scam today. It also questioned PG NAB regarding the agency’s failure to file an appeal against Lahore High Court’s order to quash the reference against the Sharifs in 2014. Responding to the question, Waqas said the decision to not file an appeal against the order was taken unanimously.
Upon hearing the response, the bench ordered the prosecutor general to submit minutes of the meeting wherein the decision was taken.