LAHORE: The accountability court, Lahore has granted the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) 12-day physical remand of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Vice President Maryam Nawaz and her cousin Yousuf Abbas in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.
Maryam and Abbas were arrested on Thursday from Kot Lakhpat Jail, where they had gone to meet former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
On Friday, they were produced in court under strict security. Heavy contingent of police force, including the Anti-Riot Force and women police, were deployed to maintain law and order. Many roads leading towards the accountability court were closed using barbed wires, containers and barricades.
As soon as Maryam entered the court room, lawyers started chanting slogans. On creating noise and taking selfies, the court ordered to maintain order.
The NAB prosecutor had requested the court to grant a 15-day physical remand of Maryam and Abbas.
The prosecutor was of the view that Maryam remained the director of Chaudhry Sugar Mills from 1992 to 1997. He apprised the court that shares worth Rs8.4 million were now worth Rs41 million. “Information regarding purchase of shares is not being provided.”
They also added that they were investigating where the money came from and repeatedly inquired Maryam about the answers. However, she had refused to cooperate. They also specified that Yousaf was in the management of Chaudhry Sugar Mills. Regarding Yousaf, the prosecutors also added that his account was also used for transactions.
Maryam’s lawyer apposed granting physical remand. He said NAB had not disclosed the reasons behind Maryam’s arrest.
“According to the law, a woman cannot be sent on physical remand in any case other than murder and robbery,” said the lawyer.
After hearing the arguments, the court handed over Maryam and Abbas on a 12-day physical remand to NAB until August 21.
Talking to the media in the court room, Maryam said that she was being targeted because she “did not polish shows” and thought it was bad.
“The people who represent the public should be respected,” said Maryam, adding that it was the duty of the representatives of the public to run the government.
The PML-N vice president said, “I will raise my voice against anyone who goes against the Constitution and the law.
“It is obvious that interests of others is joint with this and for their interest, even if they do not want to, they have to support them and these are not of institutions, these are personal interests. The face in front is that of Imran Khan’s and others are supporting him because they are helpless.”
To a question as to when she would disclose the recording as she had earlier said that she would release it if anything happened to her, Maryam said, “I will think about it. The main objective of releasing the recording was to prove Mian Sahib’s innocence, which has come before the people.”
About more such recordings in her possession, Maryam said, “In them, judge Arshad Malik has taken names of serving judges, other people and those of institutions. Malik Sahib did not know that he was being recorded. If he knew, would have he ever done it?”
She said she prayed that she would not have to release the other recordings.
“The people who have sinned, they know everything.”
To another question about contacting and seeking apology, Maryam said, “Arshad Malik Sahib did the same thing. He sent messages to Nawaz Sharif Sahib seeking an apology.”
To another question about what would happen if the people, whom she had entrusted the recording to, got arrested, the PML-N leader replied, “I have sent those recordings abroad.”
PML-N leaders and workers had reached the accountability court in solidarity with Maryam. Police stopped them from moving forward due to which an exchange of harsh words ensued. Police used force to stop the PML-N leaders and workers during which Uzma Bukhari fell sick and Rescue 1122 was called in which shifted her to Services Hospital.
Incidents of police high-handedness were also reported. Police beat up journalists covering the event. This is not the first case in which journalists had to go through such humility while in the line of duty. DIG Operations Ashfaq Ahmad Khan took notice of the incident and vowed to take action after inquiry.
Hamza’s judicial remand extended
Separately, the accountability court, Lahore extended the judicial remand of Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz in the Ramzan Sugar Mills case till August 21.
Judge Naeem Arshad heard the case.
The NAB prosecutor apprised the court that a supplementary challan of the case would be submitted in a couple of days.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif’s lawyer submitted an exemption from hearing request in the court.
It stated that there was a parliament session under way on the Kashmir issue and it was Shehbaz’s constitutional obligation to be present there; therefore, the court should accept the exemption request.
When Hamza reached the court, Maryam was already present. He patted her shoulder to console her.
Shehbaz and Hamza have been found guilty of spending millions of rupees from the national treasury on the construction of a nullah for the Ramzan Sugar Mills.