Pak Finance Minister Ishaq Dar plea to be exempted in the anti-graft court

Vastavam web: Pakistan’s embattled Finance Minister Ishaq Dar’s plea to be exempted from personal appearance in the anti-graft court was today rejected by the court, observing that the accused should be present when the witnesses record their statements and are cross-examined.The Accountability Court had indicted Dar, 67, last month in a case pertaining to his owning “assets beyond his known sources of income”.The cases were registered weeks after the Supreme Court disqualified Sharif as prime minister on July 28 in the Panama Papers scandal.

Dar, who appeared for the fifth time in the Accountability Court today, amid tight security, was represented by his lawyer Khawaja Harris, who pleaded to exempt the finance minister from appearing in the court for today’s hearing.However, Judge Mohammad Bashir remarked that the lead counsel can present the exemption arguments when he appears in court. He observed further that the accused needs to be present when witnesses are recording statements [and thus cannot be exempted from appearance.Judge Bashir initialy deferred the judgement on the matter and later adjourned until October 18.