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AC Adjourns Hearing of NAB Cases Against Nawaz Till 7th

Islamabad (November 03, 2017): The accountability court hearing NAB references against Nawaz Sharif and his family adjourned hearing of the cases till Nov 7, 2017.

Judge of Accountability Court Muhammad Bashir heard the cases.  At the outset of the hearing, Lead defence counsel Khawaja Harris submitted that yesterday Islamabad High Court had directed clubbing the reference together.

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Upon this the judge remarked that he wanted to go through the order of the court. Harris said that the copy of the order was yet to be received and pleaded the court to adjourn the proceeding till Tuesday so that the copy could be obtained from the IHC.

The judge responded that he had asked for providing the copy of the order and then the court went into recess for 15 minutes. When the court reassemble after the short break, the copy could not be produced.

Again Khwaja Harris pleaded the court to adjourn the hearing till Tuesday, saying that he also need time for preparation to argue on the applications.

Upon this the court adjourned the hearing till Tuesday.

Earlier the former Prime Minister submitted surety bond in the two references as the court had issued bailable warrant for his arrest in previous hearing.

NAB prosecution team was also present in the court to plead the graft cases against the PML-N chief and his family members.

Earlier Nawaz Sharif reached Judicial Complex along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz and scores of PML-N leaders and workers from Punjab House where he was staying overnight after his arrival from London on Thursday. His son-in-law Capt (retd) Safder reached the court separately.

A number of PML-N leaders including federal ministers and MNAs such as Saad Rafique, Mushahidullah Khan, Maryam Aurangzaib and others were present at the Judicial Complex to show solidarity with their party chief.

Nawaz appeared before the court after skipping the court previous hearings as he was in London tending to his wife, Kulsoom, who is undergoing treatment for lymphoma in London.

This is Nawaz’s first appearance following his indictment in the Avenfield properties and Azizia Steel Mills reference on October 19, and the Flagship reference on October 20.

At the last hearing on October 26, the court had issued bailable warrants for Nawaz’s arrest. The former premier returned to the country on Thursday and was served the court summons by a National Accountability Bureau (NAB) team.Strict security arrangements are in place in and around the Federal Judicial Complex where the hearing will take place.

A number of workers of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz are present at the complex to welcome their party president.

On Thursday, a two-member bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) accepted Nawaz’s petition challenging the accountability court’s dismissal of his plea to club the three references.

The IHC ordered the accountability court to hear the plea again and then give an order on it in accordance with the relevant laws.

The accountability court is hearing corruption references filed by NAB against Nawaz and his family members, as well as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.The NAB has in total filed three references against the Sharif family and one against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court, in light of the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.

The anti-graft body was given six weeks, from the date of the apex court’s order, to file the reference in an accountability court while the accountability court was granted six months to wrap up the proceedings.The references against the Sharif family pertain to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, their London properties and over dozen offshore companies owned by the family.

Maryam and Safdar are only nominated in the London properties reference. At an earlier hearing, the court also approved Maryam and Safdar’s bail in the Avenfiled properties case and ordered them to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.

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