PCO judges committed treason: Sharif

Judge dismisses family’s applications for attendance exemptions; Four more witnesses record statements


Rizwan Shehzad February 15, 2018
PHOTO: ZAFAR ASLAM/EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has alleged that by taking oaths under Gen Musharraf’s Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO), some Supreme Court judges had committed “treason”, and now they are “giving lessons on morality”.

The ex-PM said that the kind of language used by the judges seated in the highest judicial offices of the country does not suit them and it was insulting to their positions.

“Will PCO judges now give us lessons on morality,” he said, adding that controversial statements from judges who were not even loyal to their oath would not be accepted. Sharif said that no Pakistani or political leaders should accept such “lessons” from PCO judges, adding that the acts of “those who betray their oaths, breach their oath fall in the category of treason.”

Sharif explained that judges who took oath under the dictatorship of the former President General (Retd) Pervez Musharraf are PCO judges. He was talking to the media outside the accountability court which is conducting the Sharif family’s trial in connection with three National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references.

“I don’t think the kind of language the judges are using suits them. Is it not insulting to their position,” he asked, further saying that later, the judges accused him and others of contempt. He questioned whether there was any law for the way the judges speak and use language such as “Sicilian Mafia”, “godfather”, “don”, “chor” [thieves] and “daku” [robbers].

NAB moves to put names of Sharif, four relatives on ECL

“Tell me what is the difference between the language of politician Imran Khan and the chief justice,” he said, adding “this would not remain one-sided.” He recalled that Khan had previously used similar language against them.

In his talk, Sharif said that “we tolerate, bear and endure, but the judges openly used such words…Every man has a conscience, dignity and God-given right to self-respect, and “we would not compromise on our self-respect.” He was of the opinion that one should take a firm stand against such things.

Meanwhile, Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir dismissed on Thursday the Sharif family’s applications seeking exemptions from personal attendance for a fortnight to visit ailing former first lady Kulsoom Nawaz.

During the last hearing, the Sharifs had filed applications seeking exemption from personal attendance from February 19 onwards on the grounds that Kulsoom Nawaz’s treatment is in the final stages and the family needed to be with her in London.

People are fighting my case: Nawaz Sharif

NAB Additional Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi opposed the application, saying that Sharif’s two sons, who have already been declared “proclaimed offenders” by the court, are present with their mother.

Besides, Abbasi said that NAB has already requested that the Ministry of Interior place the names of Nawaz Sharif and others on the Exit Control List (ECL) on the apprehension that the trial is at the concluding stage and the accused could abscond.

Defence counsel Khawaja Harif and Amjad Pervaiz said that petitioners’ previous conduct is satisfactory and the court may state in the order that the accused would not leave the country if their names are placed on the ECL.

The court reserved the verdict for a while before dismissing the applications.

In addition, four prosecution witnesses – Mubashir Tauqeer Shah from the Ministry of Information, journalist Waqas Ahmed, and Nab investigators Zawar Manzoor and Sultan Nazir – recorded statements before the court in the supplementary reference in the Avenfield Apartments case.

When the case was taken up, the court supplied copies of two supplementary references to the accused.

During his statement, Shah said he provided DVDs and transcripts of an interview of Hassan Nawaz to the BBC in 1999. During cross-examination, he admitted that the interview was obtained from YouTube and he did not know whether the interview was complete or edited.

Ahmed also produced DVDs and transcripts of two TV shows. He later admitted that no date, month, or year was mentioned on the transcripts. The other two witnesses informed the court that several documents were seized in their presence and they were signatories of the seizure memos.

The court would resume hearings on February 22, when two foreign witnesses would record their statement via video link in the supplementary reference pertaining to the Avenfield properties.

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