Accountability court suspends proceedings against Sharif family on corruption reference

The court adjourns hearing until December 4 on Nawaz’s request


Our Correspondent November 28, 2017
The former premier requested suspension of proceedings until IHC announces verdict on join trial plea. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing into corruption references against the Sharif family after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif requested to suspend the court proceedings until the Islamabad High Court (IHC) announces its verdict in a petition pertaining to the clubbing of three references.

Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Saad Hashmi in the absence of Khawaja Haris pleaded that the IHC had reserved its verdict on the joint trial plea and that statements of witnesses must not be recorded until the judgment was out.

Court reserves verdict on joint trial plea

Objecting in the court, the NAB prosecutor Sardar Muzzafar said that the IHC had not restricted the court from any further proceedings and added that all witnesses were present in the court and were ready to record their statements and cross-examinations.

The NAB prosecutor maintained that the IHC reserved its judgment prior to testifying the witnesses. At this, the counsel of former premier protested again and claimed that Muzzafar was trying to mislead the court. The IHC had reserved its judgment after the statement of the witness was recorded, continued PM’s counsel.

The accountability court judge admonished the NAB prosecutor Muzzafar and directed him to speak after checking the record. The judge said that the IHC judgment was reserved after witness was testified. Later the accountability court while accepting Nawaz Sharif’s application adjourned the case proceedings until December 4.

The former prime minister along with Mariam Nawaz left the venue without talking to the media persons. Nawaz Sharif did, however, managed to say that he had a lot of issues to speak about in front of the media but he would comment at a proper time.

It is pertinent to note that on November 23, the IHC had reserved a judgment on a petition by the ousted premier to club the NAB references against him.

Earlier today, Nawaz Sharif reached the accountability court from the Islamabad airport amidst a heavy protocol after arriving from Lahore. His daughter, Maryam Nawaz, and son-and-law Captain (retd) Mohammad Safdar were also present in the court.

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court on July 28 had directed the NAB to file references against Nawaz Sharif and his children in six weeks in the accountability court and directed the trial court to decide the references within six months.

Nawaz Sharif says 'rules of game should be equal'

The apex court also assigned Justice Ijazul Ahsan a supervisory role to monitor the progress of the accountability court proceedings.

NAB had filed three references on September 8 against the former premier and his family. Another NAB reference was filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. The three references against the Sharif family are related to the Flagship Investment Ltd, the Avenfield (London) properties and Jeddah-based Al-Azizia Company and Hill Metal Establishment.

The former premier and his sons, Hassan and Hussain, have been named in all three NAB references, while Maryam and husband Safdar have been named only in the Avenfield reference.

 

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