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AC reserves verdict on NBP chief’s acquittal plea

By Faisal Kamal Pasha
June 15, 2018

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court (AC) of Islamabad here on Wednesday reserved its decision in the 265-K application of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President Saeed Ahmed seeking acquittal from a corruption reference where he is a nominated co- accused with Ishaq Dar.

There are allegations against Saeed Ahmed that he helped Ishaq Dar opening different bank accounts that were used for money laundering. Saeed Ahmed has filed an application under 265-K, a Section of criminal procedure code (CrPC) that enables a judge to acquit a person against whom there is no incriminating material or evidence.

Legal counsel for Saeed Ahmed, Hashmat Habib, advocate, forwarding arguments in this matter said that under the law, there is no evidence against his client, and the case is liable to be dismissed to his extent.

Advocate Hashmat, in the application, has argued that in Hudabiya Paper Mills case, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has dealt with the issue of opening accounts, and it acquitted the accused persons. The allegation of misuse of authority against his client is also not substantiated with any evidence. The petition said that even if the prosecution’s story is taken as the gospel truth, there is no probability of conviction in this matter and the case against Saeed Ahmed would amount to wastage of the court’s precious time. A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor Imran Shafique on the other hand argued that the prosecution has to produce 55 to 56 witnesses in this corruption reference ‘Assets & Funds beyond known sources of income’ and we need time to prove our case. A big amount of money was laundered with the help of Saeed Ahmed through the bank accounts he opened in his name. At the relevant time, he was deputy governor State Bank of Pakistan and how it is possible that he didn’t come to know about the accounts being opened in his name. Huge amount of foreign currency transactions took place from the account of Saeed Ahmed.

NAB prosecutor Imran Shafique alleged that during Senate elections this year in March, Saeed Ahmed opened a bank account for Ishaq Dar in NBP. Had this account not been opened, Ishaq Dar could not have submitted nomination papers for the Senate elections. The account was opened despite the fact this court has frozen assets of the Ishaq Dar. With all this, Saeed Ahmed claims that he never helped Dar in opening any bank account for him, the NAB prosecutor also said. He said that Dar, in return, rewarded him with out of turn promotions. The NAB prosecutor prayed to the court to dismiss this application. Court then reserved decision in this matter.