ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Wednesday recorded the statement of the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) investigation officer in assets beyond means reference against former finance minister Ishaq Dar.
NAB IO Nadir Abbas recorded his statement in the court presided over by accountability judge Mohammad Bashir.
Co-accused in the reference, former president of the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Raza Rizvi were also present during the case hearing.
The court, then, adjourned the hearing until July 17.
Defence counsels will cross-examine Nadir Abbas in the next hearing.
Earlier in the case, joint investigation team (JIT) head in Panama Leaks probe Wajid Zia recorded his statement as the prosecution witness. He was later cross-examined by the defence counsels.
A reference was filed by the bureau against Ishaq Dar following the Supreme Court’s July 28, 2017 verdict in the Panama Papers case.
It may be mentioned here that the court has declared Dar as a proclaimed offender due to his continuous absence from hearing of the case.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed between British and Pakistan authorities over Dar’s extradition to Pakistan.
He is facing charges of accumulating assets beyond known sources of income.
Meanwhile, Dar has categorically rejected reports of any deal with the government on any account and said if there is any such thing, it should be made public.
He responded to a claim made by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Affairs Naeemul Haque that a businessman approached the government on Dar’s behalf for a possible deal.
“The allegation leveled against me [by Haque] has no truth whatsoever,” Dar said, adding that he “does not believe in any interaction with a government which has no political, moral or legal standing”.
“I am being dragged in a baseless and politically motivated case, for which I do not need to reach any deal,” he said.
He reiterated that the case against him that he had not filed returns in over 20 years was totally unfounded. “In fact,” Dar said, “I’ve been filing income tax returns regularly for 35 years and my income is accounted for and fully documented.”
He said he is proud of serving the country selflessly.