Graft cases: Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar reach accountability court

  • Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Safdar were exempted from appearance at last hearing
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The accountability court on Wednesday resumed hearing of the three corruption references against Sharif family, including former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Judge Mohammad Bashir is hearing the cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar in the backdrop of the Panamagate verdict announced by the Supreme Court.

The former premier his daughter and son-in-law have reached the court for trial.

The court has also summoned four prosecution witness named Malik Tayyab, Shehbaz, Mazhar Bangash and Rashidto record their statements.

As the hearing began, Maryam submitted a plea seeking change in her exemption period. She sought exemption from Dec 5 to January 5, 2018.

Similarly, Nawaz has also sought change in the exemption period. Earlier, He had been granted exemption from November 20 onward. Now, he seeks it from December 5-12.

The prosecution and Sharif’s counsel exchanged hot words during the proceedings when former accused the latter of confusing the witnesses. All the witnesses have recorded their statement.

A heavy contingent comprising FC and police troops have been deployed at the federal judicial complex ahead of the high profile hearing.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders, including Asif Kirman, Talal Chaudhry, Marriyam Aurangzaib also present in the court.

Double Standards

In a brief media talk, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif once again claimed that the judiciary was exercising double standards in meting out justice citing the pace of court proceedings in cases launched against his rivals. He said that the rules of the game should be the same.

Nawaz Sharif complains about double standards of judiciary again

The president of ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz expressed that court decisions in their case came swiftly, wondering that when the decision on ‘their’ cases will come, in a reference to the disqualification petitions filed against the chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan and Secretary General Jahangir Tareen.

‘The courts’ double standards are becoming evident,’ he declared as he appeared before the accountability court hearing graft cases against him and his family.

Previous Hearing

At the last hearing, Sharif moved an application saying he wanted to go to London to visit his ailing wife, Kulsoom Nawaz. He had asked for one week exemption from November 20 and the court had approved it.

Maryam Nawaz and Safdar also asked the court to grant exemption from appearance for one month. The court also granted them exemption.

The court recorded statements two of prosecution witnesses named Sidra Mansoor of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Jahangir Ahmad of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to record their statements in three references

NAB References

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has nominated Sharif and his sons – Hasan and Hussain Nawaz – in three references regarding Avenfield apartments, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment filed in the backdrop of the Panamagate verdict. The former premier’s daughter and son-in-law have been made respondent in Avenfield properties case.

Indictment

On November 8, the court had formally indicted Sharif in three references as he was earlier indicted on October 19 and 20 in presence of his legal representative Zaafir Khan.

Maryam and Safdar had been indicted along with Sharif in a reference regarding the London properties on October 19.