ISLAMABAD: The President of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Saeed Ahmed, on Monday sought acquittal in former finance minister Ishaq Dar’s assets reference in which he is amongst the accused, according to a local English daily.
He filed an application through his counsel Hashmat Habib, under Section 265-D of the Criminal Procedure Code for the acquittal for want of evidence.
According to the application, “the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in para 7 of the supplementary reference made a novel assertion and imaginary inclusion of applicant”. It said that “the accused No.01 (Saeed Ahmed) has refused to answer questions or to provide information to NAB, thus, the accused person has been found involved in the commission of offences of corruption and corrupt practices”.
The reference against the NBP President Ahmed, as per the application, has been filed only on the basis of assumption by NAB which amounted to “aiding and abetting the offence”.
According to NAB the accused was implicated for opening bank accounts in his name while he was abroad to which the NBP president had requested the court acquit him for want of evidence.
Former finance minister Ishaq Dar has already been declared proclaimed offender by the accountability court.
In the supplementary reference, NAB alleged that “accused Saeed Ahmed was one of the directors of Hajveri Modaraba Management Company and 7,000 shares in Hajveri Holding (Pvt) Limited were also transferred in his favour from the wife of principal accused (Mohammad Ishaq Dar)”.
The reference also alleged that seven bank accounts were opened in the name of the accused Saeed Ahmed which according to the investigation conducted so far, were mainly used for the benefit of the accused (Dar) and his companies. “He had intentionally allowed accused to open/operate/use bank accounts in his name to protect his ill-gotten money,” it said.
Earlier on Monday, an accountability court, on the plea of the others accused, had reserved its ruling against their indictment.
On March 5, Judge Mohammad Bashir, who is presiding over the case, had ordered the indictment of National Bank of Pakistan President Saeed Ahmed, Naeem Mehmood and Mansoor Rizvi in Dar’s assets reference.
All the three have been accused in the supplementary reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Dar.
Two of three had filed a petition with the court last week against their planned indictment. The accountability court had issued a notice to NAB to submit its response to the plea.
The NAB prosecutor opposed the plea saying that the defence was just using it a delaying tactic.
The court reserved its order over the plea against indictment after hearing arguments from the suspects’ counsel Qazi Misbah.
In its reference against the former finance minister, NAB alleged that “the accused has acquired assets and pecuniary interests/resources in his own name and/or in the name of his dependents of an approximate amount of Rs831.678 million (approx)”.
The reference alleged that the assets were “disproportionate to his known sources of income for which he could not reasonably account for”.
The court has declared him a proclaimed offender over his perpetual absence from the trial proceedings and attached his movable and immovable properties.
In November 2017, the government withdrew the portfolio of finance minister of Dar.