ISLAMABAD – An accountability court Monday declared Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz, the sons of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif,  as proclaimed offenders for avoiding the legal proceedings.

The deadline for both brothers, who are settled in the United Kingdom, to surrender in the three references against them lapsed last Friday, as they continued to stay away from court proceedings despite the issuance of a proclamation against them last month.

Following directives of the Islamabad accountability court, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had on Oct 12 pasted the proclamation order in the premises of the Federal Judicial Complex (FJA) which houses the accountability court.

In the proclamation, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz were asked to surrender and join the proceedings in the three references – Flagship Investment, Al-Azizia and Avenfield properties.

The references had been filed against Sharif, his sons and daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar on the orders of the Supreme Court. The proclamation mentioned that the properties of the suspects would be seized if they continued to abscond.

However, the anti-graft body says no property of Sharif’s sons has been found inside the country.

In its report, the NAB informed the court that bank accounts and shares of both Hasan and Hussain had already been seized.

The court has started recording the evidences against the accused under section 512 of NAB Ordinance.

Earlier in the day, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed Nawaz Sharif’s plea against the filing of multiple NAB references against him.

The accountability court had previously dismissed the petition, on the same matter, after which Nawaz filed an appeal at the IHC. The IHC division bench comprising of Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, on Monday, rejected Nawaz’s petition.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar reached the accountability court early Monday morning for the hearing of the case.

NAB had filed three references on September 8 against the former premier and his family. Another NAB reference was filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. The three references against the Sharif family are related to the Flagship Investment Ltd, the Avenfield (London) properties and Jeddah-based Al-Azizia Company and Hill Metal Establishment.