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AC Resumes Avenfield Reference Hearing Against Sharifs

Islamabad(July 02, 2018): Hearing of Avenfield Reference against Sharif Family has resumed today in the NAB Court.

Judge Muhammad Bashir hearing the case, former Prime Minister and Maryam Nawaz had not appeared befored the court due to illness of Kulsoom Nawaz.

Amjad Pervez, counsel of Maryam Nawaz continuing his final arguments in the case.

Nawaz, Maryam Decide to Return Pakistan Next Week:

Nawaz, Maryam Decide to Return Pakistan Next WeekPakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz, have decided to return to their homeland Next week, said sources.

The decision to return to Pakistan was made after a consultation with senior leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) as well as pressure from some party workers, sources disclosed.

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Further, a suggestion to have Maryam Nawaz return to Pakistan before Sharif himself is under consideration as well, sources added.

The PML-N supremo and the former first daughter, according to the sources, intend to lead their party’s campaign ahead of the upcoming general elections of 2018.

In this regard, Sharif is said to have ordered preparations to be made in multiple cities, accordingly, for election campaign-related rallies.However, prior to his flight back to his motherland, a detailed medical check-up and a computed tomography (CT) scan of Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, Sharif’s ailing wife, will be carried out, following which the PML-N supremo will meet her doctors for a comprehensive discussion on her health, current condition, and progress.

On June  29, during the hearing court directed Maryam Nawaz, Safdar lawyer to complete his argument by Monday(today).

Earlier as the hearing began, Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt (retd) Safdar’s lawyer Amjad Pervez resumed his final arguments in the Avenfield reference.

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The defence counsel presented prosecution witness Mazhar Raza Bangash’s letter, questioning its authenticity.

“Bangash said he presented the record in a sealed envelope, however, NAB’s witness Zawar Manzoor has said that the envelope was not sealed,” Pervez said.

He argued that the documents submitted by Bangash were photocopies and thus could not be made part of the court’s record as per Pakistan’s Qanun-e-Shahadat Order, 1984 (Law of Evidence).

Pervez contended that it was to be seen if the verdict of Queen’s bench was admissible evidence, adding that the summary of even that decision was not related to indictment.The defence lawyer also objected to the absence of Shezi Naqvi — who had submitted an affidavit in the case. He further said that Rehman Malik’s report was not official and even the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had not accepted it.

Nawaz is neither the owner of the London flats and nor occupied them since 1993, Pervez said. He further added that the Sharif family may have been linked to the property at some point but Nawaz was never associated with the London flats.The court then summoned Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director Wajid Zia, who headed the Panama case joint investigation team (JIT), on July 3 for the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference.

The Cases:

SC extends the deadline of corruption cases against Sharif family by two months

Nawaz and his family are facing three corruption cases in the accountability court after NAB filed references against them in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case.

The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017.The corruption references, filed against the Sharifs, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Limited, and Avenfield properties of London.

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.The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.

The court originally had a deadline of six months which ended in mid-March but was extended for two months after the judge requested the apex court.

Later, the deadline was extended twice more, with the new date falling at July 10 now.

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