ISLAMABAD: The president of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Saeed Ahmed, on Monday sought acquittal in a reference relating to the assets of defunct minister Ishaq Dar in which he has been implicated as co-accused.

The NBP president, through his counsel Hashmat Habib, filed an application before the accountability judge under Section 265-D of the Criminal Procedure Code for the acquittal for want of evidence.

The application pointed out that “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 (Mr 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”.

According to the application, the reference against Mr Ahmed has been filed on the basis of assumption which, as per understanding of NAB, amounted to aiding and abetting the offence.

It said Mr Ahmed was a highly qualified person and had been living abroad for a long time, adding that the bureau had implicated him for opening bank accounts in his name while he was not present in Pakistan.

The NBP president requested the court to acquit him even before indicting him because there was not an iota of evidence against him.

NAB implicated Mr Ahmed and two directors of Mr Dar’s Hajveri Modaraba — Naeem Mahmood and Syed Mansoor Raza Rizvi — as co-accused in the supplementary reference against the defunct minister.

Mr 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 alleged that seven bank accounts were opened in the name of accused Saeed Ahmed which (as per investigation conducted so far) were prima facie used for the benefit of accused (Mr 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.

Regarding Naeem Mahmood, the reference stated that he “was one of the directors of Hajveri Modaraba…[and he] aided, abetted, assisted the main accused in commission of offence by facilitating him in the opening of bank accounts being an introducer”.

The third accused, Syed Mansoor Raza Rizvi, was a shareholder in First Hajveri Modaraba. As per NAB investigation, he helped Mr Dar as he collected the cheque book pertaining to bank accounts of Saeed Ahmed.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2018

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