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AC Resumes Hearing of NAB References Against Sharifs

Islamabad (June 19, 2018): The counsels of the former premier and his daughter have submitted an exemption from appearance request in the accountability court for seven days.

An accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday resumed hearings of corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members.

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As accountability court judge Justice Muhammad Bashir started hearing the references — Avenfield properties, Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment — Nawaz’s former counsel Khawaja Harris appeared before the court.

Justice Bashir questioned Harris if he was in court to withdraw his power of attorney petition.

“First, I have to file another petition. I have a right to know whether the court will hear the cases simultaneously or separately,” the former premier’s counsel responded.

To this, the accountability court judge said Harris’ power of attorney petition has been dismissed.However, NAB prosecutor Muzaffar Abbas pointed out, “We did not even object and the petition has been dismissed.”

Harris further asked the court how they plan on taking the case forwards. “We need to coordinate with each other and should try our best to not pull each other’s legs,” he added.

“There is a law for everything. The Supreme Court asked us to work on Saturdays as well and under what law does that fall,” Nawaz’s former counsel questioned.Begum Kulsoom’s Condition Highly Critical: DoctorsDoctors treating former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, noted that her condition is highly critical.

In a briefing to the Sharif family, the five-member board of doctors shared that Begum Kulsoom will not be taken off from the ventilator now and asked Nawaz to wait for another review of her condition, the timeline of which has not been given at the moment.

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Sources said that the doctors informed Nawaz, Maryam and Shehbaz Sharif that Begum Kulsoom’s condition has not deteriorated but has not improved significantly either since last Thursday.

Earlier on June 17, Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam delayed their return to Pakistan owing to the continue deteriorating condition of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz.سابق وزیراعظم نوازشریف ہارلے اسٹریٹ کلینک پہنچ گئےThe former premier, who reached London along with his daughter on Thursday to see his ailing wife, was advised by doctors to delay his return to the country

The former premier and his family are facing three corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) following his disqualification in July last year.

Earlier on June 12, former PM Nawaz Sharif appeared in court without his lawyer in the NAB Court.

Judge Muhammad Bashir, who is hearing the reference, asked Nawaz if he wanted to hire another legal counsel or continue with Haris — whose recusal request has not yet been accepted.

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To this, Nawaz answered that the decision was not an easy one. “A lawyer worked hard on this case for nine months; it is not an easy decision,” Nawaz told the court.

The deposed prime minister then lamented that his lawyer had informed the court of his inability to work on Saturdays and Sundays.

“Nearly hundred attendances have been marked in the case,” Nawaz lamented. “Is this case going to be heard 24 hours a day and seven days a week?”

“Is there any similar example?” Nawaz questioned. Last week, Legal Counsel of Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Khawaja Haris excused from representing Nawaz Sharif from in the NAB references filed against his family.

Announcing his decision to withdraw his legal services to Nawaz during the hearing of Al-Azizia reference, Haris said the Supreme Court had ‘dictated on completing the trial within a month.’

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In a written note to the apex court, Haris said that the top court had not accepted his stance on the three references. “As a professional lawyer, I think the arguments for all of the three references [against Nawaz and his family] could be presented together,” he observed. The lawyer further remarked that he was dictated to work beyond court hours. Haris was also directed to appear before the court on the weekends, the written note said.

Nawaz’s former legal counsel remarked that he could not continue to work in the present conditions.

The three references are possibly faced with a delay till Nawaz hires the services of another lawyer.On June 08, Deputy Prosecutor General NAB, Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi while recording his statement in Avenfiled Reference said Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif bought Avenfield properties with embezzled money which is why he transferred the ownership to his children.

The Avenfield reference, pertaining to the Sharifs’ London properties, is among three filed against the family by NAB last year on the Supreme Court’s directives.The deputy prosecutor general said Nawaz’s statements were presented in the court as an evidence from the prosecution, which meant to prove that public office holders do not keep illegally earned assets in their name.

According to Abbasi, Nawaz said during a public speech that a judicial commission should be formed to probe the source of money with which he bought the London flats.

The NAB official said all the accused, of the Sharif family, admitted to owning the properties but their statements differed when it came to the source with which the flats were bought.

Corruption Cases:

The corruption references, filed against the Sharifs, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London on the orders of the supreme court.Nawaz and sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference only.

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