Acting upon a stay order of the Lahore High Court (LHC), an accountability court on Saturday adjourned the hearing on reopening three corruption references pending against the Sharif family till September 29.
Accountability Court-IV Special Judge Chaudhry Abdul Haq adjourned the hearing, saying the cases would only be taken up once LHC’s Rawalpindi bench decides to proceed with them.
The trial court was to take up an application filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), requesting it to reopen three cases pertaining to Hudabiya Paper Mills, Ittefaq Foundaries and Raiwind assets. Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif and his family members have been accused of obtaining illegal loans and amassing undeclared wealth.
The hearing on these references was also adjourned in 2007 when the Sharif brothers went into exile following a coup by former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf.
Two lawyers appeared on behalf of Nawaz and his family. They said the high court had clarified in its order in October last year that NAB and the trial court have been prevented from initiating the references till further orders.
Prosecutors of NAB earlier maintained that the high court has restrained them from further probing the cases.
Nawaz, Shahbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Haroon Pasha and Senator ishaq Dar are all co-accused in the Hudabiya Paper Mills case. They are alleged to have secured handsome loans in the name of the mills, but later using the money for other purposes, thus causing a huge loss to the national exchequer.
In the Ittefaq Foundaries case, Nawaz, Abbas Sharif, Mukhtar Hassan, Kamal Qureshi and some others are accused of securing similar loans which also burdened the national kitty.
In the Raiwind assets case, Nawaz, Shahbaz Sharif, their mother Shamim Akhtar and late father Mian Sharif are accused of accumulating assets beyond their declared means of income. Though the reference includes the name of late Mian Sharif, charges against him will be dropped if and when the case is taken up.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2012.
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