Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Wednesday appeared before an anti-corruption court here to face the graft charges filed against the close aide of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif by the accountability bureau in the Panama Papers scandal. The trial formally started with two witnesses appearing against him in the case related to allegations of making assets beyond known means of income.
Anti-corruption watchdog National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 8 filed the case against 67-year-old Dar following the July 28 verdict of the Supreme Court.
The apex court had also disqualified Sharif and ordered corruption cases against him, his children Maryam, Husain and Hasan and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar.
Dar was present in the accountability court of judge Muhammad Bashir, where two bankers, Ishtiaq Ali and Tahir Javed, appeared as witnesses to record statements.
Ali recorded his statement and he was also cross-examined by the defence lawyer Khawaja Harris.
Later, the court adjourned the hearing till October 12, when two more witnesses will be called to give evidence.
The NAB team has already provided a list of 28 witnesses to the court who would be presented as witnesses.
Anusha Rehman, minister of state for technology, told media after the hearing that the defence has not been provided the copy of charge-sheet and the trial started already.
“The court is taking all decisions in haste and we are not being given enough time to prepare and defend the case,” she said.
Dar has a long association with Sharif family and one of his sons is married to the daughter of a daughter of Sharif.
He was also imprisoned when Sharif’s government was toppled in 1999.