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Reference against Dar: AC rejects 3 accused pleas for provision of legible documents


March 13, 2018

ISLAMABAD: In supplementary corruption reference against Ishaq Dar, an Accountability Court (AC) on Monday dismissed applications of three accused persons, Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Syed Mansoor Raza Rizvi, who contended that the copies of the reference provided to them were not legible.

The applicants said that they may be provided with clear documents before indictment and also translation of the Arabic documents attached to the reference. Meanwhile, the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President, Saeed Ahmed, in the supplementary corruption reference said he has also filed an application with the Accountability Court (AC) under Section 265-D of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) saying that the supplementary reference may be rejected to his extent, and NAB may be asked to pay the applicant for filing of a false reference.

The applicant said that a charge can only be framed against an accused if the trial court feels satisfied with the basis of the material placed before it. Whereas, in this particular case, there are no grounds that the case could be proceeded on, the applicant said.

The AC would hear into this application today (Tuesday) and would also indict all the three accused persons after the decision. In the first mentioned application of Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Syed Mansoor Raza Rizvi, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor Imran Shafique argued before the court that the applicants were provided with 700-page documents. Some of the pages were bigger in size and to adjust in the photocopy, they reduced the size. As a matter of practice, lawyers use magnifying glasses to read such pages and they can also do that. Arabic documents attached with the reference are not relevant to the accused persons, so there is no need to translate those documents. Later, AC judge dismissed the application.

In the application of Saeed Ahmed under 265-D which will be taken up for hearing today (Tuesday), the applicant said that a supplementary corruption reference has been filed against Ishaq Dar where he and two other persons arrayed as accused also.

Saeed Ahmed said that the under-mentioned allegations levelled against him were imaginary. NAB in its supplementary reference had alleged that “during investigation, it was revealed that NBP President Saeed Ahmed was one of the directors of Hajveri Modaraba Management Company and 7,000 shares in Hajveri Holding (Pvt) Ltd were transferred in his favour by the wife of Ishaq Dar.

Seven bank accounts were opened in the name of accused Saeed Ahmed, which as per investigation were prima facie used for the benefit of Dar and his companies. Saeed Ahmed had intentionally allowed Dar to open/operate/use bank accounts in his name to protect his ill-gotten money and penal liability by providing a cover to this criminal act whereby he aided, assisted and abetted Dar commission of offence”.

Saeed Ahmed said that the allegation of opening seven bank accounts is ill founded as the supplementary investigation report reveals that the account opening forms were sent for forensic examination and signatures of the applicant (Saeed Ahmed) do not tally. Saeed Ahmed adopted before the AC that he received a phone call from Lahore NAB asking him to come to their office as they wanted some clarification in connection with the accounts opened in the name of the applicant. Upon this Saeed Ahmed told NAB that when those accounts were opened, he was abroad and the forensic report has clarified that the signatures on account opening forms were not his. He never used those accounts for any purpose. At this, a NAB Director Amjad Aulakh said that they sent reports from Lahore to Islamabad at their headquarters. Islamabad NAB seemed to be of the view that your status as prosecution witness is not acceptable to them, and they wanted to deal with you either as approver or an accused, Saeed Ahmed said while referring to his telephonic conversation with Amjad Aulakh.

Aulakh then asked the applicant that when he did come to know about those accounts? To which applicant replied that on April 16, 2016, when Imran Khan, in a speech, alleged that Saeed Ahmed opened accounts for Dar to facilitate some illegal acts and in return, Ahmed has been appointed as deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. Referring to his telephonic conversation, Saeed Ahmed said that if my posting was a reward than why I waited for 20 years after opening of the accounts. Applicant said that the reference has been filed on surmises and conjectures and it may be rejected to his extent.

It is to mention here that in the main corruption reference against Ishaq Dar, NAB has alleged that there is 91 times increase in the assets of Dar from 1991. NAB, in its supplementary reference, said that through investigation, it is established that Ishaq Dar, with the aid, abetment and assistance of Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Syed Mansoor Raza Rizvi, has obtained illegal pecuniary advantages amounting to Rs482,848,648 and $4,060,985 for himself and his dependents through corrupt, dishonest and illegal means by opening bank accounts which have not been either explained by the accused or his dependents and has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents that are disproportionate to his known sources of income that he could not reasonably account for.

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