Islamabad (September 26, 2017): The Islamabad’s accountability court on Tuesday set October 2 as date to indict former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in three corruption references filed against him by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Supreme Court’s directions.
Accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir heard the corruption references filed against Nawaz Sharif and his children Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safder.
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Senior counsel Khuwaja Harris submitted his ‘Vakalat Nama’ in the court to represent Nawaz Sharif in the NAB references.
At the outset of hearing, NAB prosecutor informed the court about serving of summon issued by the court for Nawaz Sharif and other accused in the case.He said that despite serving the summon, Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Capt (retd) Safder did not appear before the court.
Counsel of Nawaz children told the court that Hassan, Hussain, Maryam and Safder were in London in connection with their mother treatment, as he was undergoing treatment for throat cancer.Upon this the court issued bailable arrest warrant for the accused and directed them to appear before the court on next date of hearing.
The court also directed the accused to submit Rs1 million surety bond each to avoid arrest.
Nawaz counsel Khwaja Harris moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance for his client.
NAB prosecutor opposed the application pleading the court not to allow the application.The judge ruled that the court would consider the plea for exemption after indictment in the case.
The court then set October 2 as date for framing formal charges against the former PM. Nawaz counsel pleaded the court to give more time so that he could go through the NAB references, copies of which was provided to him today.The judge remarked that as per law, when an accused is handed over copies of the reference, he/she is to be indicted within seven days.
The court rejected Harris’ plea for more time and set October 2, 2017 for indictment.
Earlier, when the court took up the references for hearing, Asif Kirmani, political secretary of Nawaz Sharif, informed the court that he had conveyed to Sharif family about the summon. He said that he had disgraced the task assigned to him by the court.He added that Nawaz Sharif appeared today as per the summon, however, his children were in London to look after their ailing mother, who is undergoing cancer treatment there.
As the court was overcrowded by PML-N leaders and others accompanied him, the judge remarked: “Let Nawaz Sharif go home by registering his attendance so that the court smoothly function.”
After that the judge allowed Nawaz to go home after registering his attendance in the court.
The court then went to a short recess.Nawaz Sharif, who along with his children failed to appear before the court on the first summon on September 19, 2017 for being abroad, returned to the country on Monday morning.A numbers of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders, including federal ministers, accompanied the former prime minister at his first appearance before the accountability court, which had summoned Mr Sharif after his failure to appear at an earlier hearing on Sept 19.Strict security arrangements were made on the occasion of Nawaz’s appearance before the court. Heavy contingents of police and law enforcement agencies were deployed around judicial complex which houses the accountability court.
The court had also summoned Mr Sharif’s sons — Hussain and Hassan — but they did not appear as they are still in London where their mother is undergoing cancer treatment.Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir had earlier summoned Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, sons Hussain and Hassan Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Mohammad Safdar on Sept 19 in connection with three corruption references filed by NAB under Supreme Court orders.Though Mr Sharif and his children have publicly expressed concerns over the SC judgement and had filed review petitions before the same bench, the petitions were all dismissed on Sept 15.
NAB had filed three references against the Sharif family in connection with the London properties, the establishment of 16 companies, including Flagship Investment Ltd in the UK and Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment in Jeddah.The former premier and his sons have been named in all three references, while Maryam and Capt Safdar have only been named in the Avenfield reference.