ISLAMABAD – The accountability court hearing Al-Azizia Steel Mills case and Flagship Investment reference filed against Sharif family has sought another extension to conclude the trial.
The Supreme Court’s deadline to conclude a corruption trial against the Sharif family ended on October 7, however, the probe is still ongoing.
Judge Arshad Malik of Accountability Court II has reportedly forwarded a letter to the apex court to request an extension, apprising the Supreme Court of the progress in the two corruption references against the Sharif family.
On August 27, the Supreme Court had directed the accountability court to decide the Al Azizia and Flagship corruption references within six weeks time.
Up till now, five extensions have been granted to the NAB court to wrap up the corruption references initiated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in line with the directives of the supreme court.
The apex court had initially set a six-month deadline to conclude the corruption references against the Sharif family.
In the Al Azizia reference, statements of all witnesses have been recorded, while the cross-examination of the investigation officer is yet to conclude.
The Flagship Investment reference is also under way. Both, Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia and the investigation officer, are yet to appear before the court to record their statements in the case.
The trial against the former ruling family commenced on September 14, 2017.
Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.
The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.
Former premier Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to ten years in prison, Maryam Nawaz was sentenced to seven years while Captain (r) Safdar was sentenced to one year in jail.
However, a two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court suspended the conviction of the trio against which the accountability watchdog would pursue the case in the supreme court.