Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday hired a new legal team to represent him in the ongoing corruption trial after Khawaja Haris and his team recused themselves from the case.
The three-time premier hired Jahangir Jadoon, who has represented Nawaz in multiple cases and also heads the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) legal wing. Maryam Nawaz and husband Safdar’s counsel Amjad Parvez was not present in court citing ill-health.
The court set June 19 to present final arguments in the Avenfield reference case. Jadoon submitted the power of attorney in all three references, taking over from Haris. However, Jadoon said Nawaz is in touch with Haris and the former premier is trying to convince the lawyer to return to the case.
As the hearing began, prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) voiced his concerns and reservations over Parvez’s absence. He argued that Jadoon is well-versed with the case and should present the arguments, replying to Abbasi, Jadoon said that he is only submitting Maryam and Nawaz’s exemption plea for Thursday’s hearing.
On June 10, Haris recused himself from representing the former premier in the corruption references filed by 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.