ISLAMABAD: Khawaja Haris, former premier Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer, on Monday recused himself from representing the former premier in the corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the Sharif family.
The lawyer and his team walked out of the case, stating that they cannot perform under such pressure. Haris said the Supreme Court had instructed the accountability court to wrap up the proceedings in a month and to conduct hearings on Saturday. “The court can’t do justice to the case under this pressure,” Haris maintained.
Subsequently, he withdrew his power of attorney from the case.
On June 10, the SC granted another four weeks to the accountability court to wrap up the proceedings in four weeks’ time. The written order stated that the verdict came after hearing arguments from both Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi [NAB’s prosecutor] and Haris on the matter. The top court further said that the Judge Bashir is free to fix timings for the hearings as well.
Judge Mohammad Bashir of the accountability court questioned Nawaz on his counsel. “Who will be your lawyer now? Or will you convince Haris?” Judge Bashir questioned. “I can only tell after consultation, I need some time,” replied Nawaz.
The case has been adjourned indefinitely in the absence of Nawaz’s counsel. In an application titled “Withdrawal of Vakalatnamas from titled case”, Nawaz’s counsel stated that the defence had prayed upon the court numerous times to club the three references.
Haris and his legal team had submitted multiple pleas on behalf of Nawaz asking for the simultaneous recording of statements from head of the investigation team Wajid Zia. However, all pleas to club the references were rejected and dismissed. Haris expressed his displeasure at the “miscarriage of justice” which the SC promised earlier would not be the outcome.
Earlier in May, the apex court gave an extension till June 9, a two-judge special bench of the court, comprising Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, however, declined Nawaz’s lawyer’s contentions to extend the deadline by three months.
“We are confident that both sides namely the prosecution and the defence will cooperate. In any event, miscarriage of justice will not be allowed,” said the order.
After the dictation of the order, Haris had said it would not be possible for him to complete the proceedings in a month. “It would also be embarrassing for the accountability judge and the lawyers to appear repeatedly before the apex court to request extensions,” he further had stated.