ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Wednesday indictedFinance Minister Ishaq in a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the directions of the Supreme Court on Sept 8 for possessing assets beyond known sources of income.
The Supreme Court had ordered the anti-corruption watchdog to file corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his children, close aide Ishaq Dar and his son in law captain (retd) Safdar in Panama Papers case ruling on 28 July.
Geo News reported that Dar rejected the charges read out by the judge, saying he would contest the charges and prove his innocence through evidence.
The minister said his assets are in accordance with his income. Barrister Masroor Shah, a legal expert, told Geo News indictment in a criminal means beginning of trial.
He said the prosecution is directed to support the charges by producing witnesses and proofs once a person is indicted by a court. He said although the Supreme Court of Pakistan has given a time frame to complete the trial, it shouldn't become a case of "justice hurried is justice buried"
Dar on Monday appeared in the court to attend the hearing of a corruption case against him, where Judge Mohammad Bashir handed him a copy of the reference to finance minister’s counsel, along with copies of related documents comprising 23 volumes.
In the previous hearing, the court rejected a request by Dar’s counsel, Amjad Pervez, to grant them seven days to peruse the voluminous record, saying that "if you take a month to read the reference how will we wrap up proceedings in the given time,"the judge asked, observing further that two days are enough to go over the reference.
The judge observed that they will conduct daily hearings in the case. The court also directed Dar to deposit a Rs5 million surety bond to ensure his appearance at the next hearing.