Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – An accountability court hearing the Avenfield reference against the members of the former ruling family, approved a one-day exemption request of Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam, who are in London to tend to cancer-suffering Kulsoom Nawaz.

The former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family are facing three corruption cases in the accountability court filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case last year.

As the hearing went underway on Thursday, Amjad Pervez, the counsel for Maryam and her husband Capt (retd) Safdar, began presenting his final arguments.

He informed the court that unlike Nawaz’s counsel, he would not take seven days to present his concluding arguments and will complete final arguments within 3-4 days.

A one-day request for exemption from appearance in court, filed on behalf of Nawaz and Maryam, was also approved by Judge Muhammad Bashir.

Pervez also submitted an old medical report of Begum Kulsoom in the court seeking a seven-day exemption request for the defendants.

He told the bench that Begum Kulsoom’s new medical report will be received by tomorrow and will accordingly be submitted to the court.

‘Nawaz’s wife is ill and he is in London to be with her. Maryam is also in London to tend to her mother,’ stated the exemption plea.

Meanwhile, Pervez kick-started presenting his final arguments following which the Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir adjourned the hearing until Friday.

Nawaz Sharif and his sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references – Hill Metal establishment, London flats and offshore firms –  whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar are named in the Avenfield reference only.

Hussain and Hassan Nawaz are UK-based and have been absconding since the proceedings began last year, however, the former premier has been showing up regularly before the court of judge Muhammad Bashir.