Nawaz, Maryam exempted from appearing in graft cases

  • Court has summoned two prosecution witnesses to record statements
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The accountability court on Wednesday approved petitions filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz seeking exemption from appearance in the court in three corruption references.

As Judge Mohammad Bashir resumed hearing of the case to begin formal trial of the Sharif family following the appearance of Sharif, Maryam and Captain (retd) Safdar.

The court has granted a week-long to Sharif and a month-long exemption to Maryam in the cases.

Appearance Exemption Plea

Sharif said that he wanted to go to London to visit his ailing wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, who is London for cancer treatment. He asked for one week exemption from November 20.

In her application, Maryam said that she will attend the hearing whenever the court will summon her. She added that her legal representative, Jahangir Jadoon, will appear in the court in case she has to go abroad.

The NAB prosecutor opposed the applications saying the trial will be affected in the absence of the accused.

Witnesses

During today’s proceedings, 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.

However, Sidra Mansoor has recorded his statement before the court today. The witness informed the judge that she appeared before the NAB Lahore team on August 18 and furnished all required documents regarding various business of Sharifs.

She further said that an audit report of Hudaibiya Paper Mills for the duration of 2000-2005 was submitted to the NAB.

The counsels of Nawaz and his children, Khawaja Harris and Amjad Pervez, raised objection that the witness submitted unverified documents as they did not have company’s stamp.

The court has summoned four another witnesses to record their statement.

The hearing has been adjourned till November 22.

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.

Club References 

On Nov 8, Judge Mohammad Bashir had turned down a peal filed by Sharif to club the references filed by the NAB. The court had took up the petition again following the directions of the Supreme Court.

Yesterday (Nov 14), the former premier challenged the verdict of the accountability court in the Islamabad High Court. The court had also rejected the petition.