RAWALPINDI: An accountability court has summoned the family of former premier and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif on July 28 in three dormant graft cases.
Chaudhry Abdul Haq, the judge of Accountability Court-IV, on Wednesday issued notices to the Sharif family on an application filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seeking reopening of the references against the family.
The judge ordered the accused to respond to the application filed by NAB Special Public Prosecutor Khurram Nawaz. He also directed the NAB authorities to submit records of the cases by July 28.
About the delay in reopening the cases, the NAB prosecutor told the court that the accused went out of the country in 2001 shortly after the references were filed against them the previous year.
The bureau had requested the trial court in 2008 to reopen the cases, but the court returned the application since it was not signed by the NAB chief.
The NAB prosecutor, however, could not satisfy the court on whether or not the Rawalpindi bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) had stayed the cases.
The Sharif brothers had petitioned the LHC on October 18 last year for the annulment of the references against them.
On May 17, the bureau had formally announced that inquiries against Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif would be reopened in accordance with President Asif Ali Zardari’s orders for scrutinizing all politicians.
The references against the Sharif family pertain to Hudaibia Paper Mills, Ittefaq Foundry and assets beyond means.
The accused in the Hudaibia case – Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Haroon Pasha and Senator Ishaq Dar – are accused of securing a huge loan in the mills’ name and using the amount for some other purpose.
In the Ittefaq case, Nawaz and Abbas Sharif along with Mukhtar Hassan, Kamal Qureshi and two others, are accused of abusing hefty loans.
In the third reference, the Sharif family is accused of accumulating assets beyond their declared means of income by allegedly misusing their authority.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2012.