Pakistan court issues arrest warrant against finance minister

 30 Oct 2017 - 14:59

Pakistan court issues arrest warrant against finance minister
Pakistan's Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. (File photo / REUTERS / Faisal Mahmood

By Kamran Haider / Bloomberg

A Pakistani anti-corruption court issued an arrest warrant for Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday after he failed to appear before a scheduled hearing.

Dar is in London receiving medical treatment and couldn’t attend court, Amjad Pervez, an attorney for the finance minister, said by phone. “The order is basically to ensure his presence at the next hearing date,” he said, which has been moved to November 2. The warrant is bailable.

Dar and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were indicted this month on charges of corruption following Sharif’s disqualification by Pakistan’s Supreme Court in July. A bailable arrest warrant was also issued against Sharif last week when he failed to turn up for a hearing looking into his family’s purchase of high-end London flats. A spokesman for the finance ministry didn’t answer calls seeking comment. Both Sharif and Dar have denied any wrong-doing.

Pakistan has been roiled by political turmoil ahead of elections next year. Sharif’s ousting followed last year’s leaks from a Panama law firm, which showed his children used offshore companies to purchase properties in the UK capital. Opposition leader and former cricket star Imran Khan then led a highly-charged anti-corruption campaign, which prompted the top court to mandate an investigation into the Sharif family businesses.

--With assistance from Ismail Dilawar

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