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Hearing of Avenfield Reference Underway in AC

Islamabad (July 03, 2018): Hearing of the Avenfield Reference is underway in the accountability court against Sharif Family.

Judge Muhammad Bashir is hearing the case, Amjad Parvez, counsel of Maryam Nawaz continuing his final arguments in the case.

Earlier, the accountability court in Avenfield Case granted a two-day exemption from appearance to deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Nawaz on Monday.Avenfield Case: Nawaz, Maryam Granted Two-day ExemptionNawaz and Maryam are currently in Britain’s capital visiting Begum Kulsoom Nawaz. On June 14, the father and daughter left for the United Kingdom after being granted a brief exemption from the ongoing corruption trial.

During Monday’s court proceedings, the defence counsel presented Begum Kulsoom’s medical reports stating that her cardiac functions had improved and added that she is dependent on a ventilator for the time being.Explaining that the former first lady was in single organ failure, the doctors said they plan to “optimise her lung function before performing a Tracheostomy to help wean her from the ventilator.”

During his arguments, the counsel objected to the joint investigation team (JIT)’s methods to build its case against the Sharif family last year.

Barrister Saad Hashmi told the court that Begum Kulsoom was yet to regain consciousness. After the defence counsel submitted a plea for exemption, counsel Khawaja Harris stressed that the purpose of the trial was to face charges which his client was already contesting. “The case proceedings are uninterrupted,” he noted. “We are not using any delaying tactics.”Objecting to the request, NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi claimed Begum Kulsoom is much better now and thus there is no need for the two accused to be in London.

After reserving its verdict, the court only approved a two-day exemption plea.

Meanwhile, prosecution witness and Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia is scheduled to appear before the accountability court in the Al Azizia reference on July 3 for cross-examination. Counsel for Maryam and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar, Amjad Pervaiz will also continue final arguments before the court.

During the hearing headed by Justice Muhammad Bashir, Amjad Pervez clarified that during the court proceedings, only specialist s opinion (testimony) is acceptable. Forensic expert Robert Radley did not inform the court about his qualification as he has been working in this field since 1976, he added.The lawyer, Amjad said that Robert Radley did not submit his Curriculum Vitae (CV) in the court before recording his statement.

The prosecution should have presented the CV in the record as it was already provided in the ‘Volume4’, ‘Identification of font’ is an expert but Ridley did not mention this skill in his CV, lawyer Amjad Pervez claimed.

Maryam and Safdar Counsel further said in his final arguments that his clients were rejecting BVI letters from the first day as Mossack Fonesca has no record against Maryam. He said quoted Gold cooper that there was no evidence that Maryam had gotten benefit from Trust Deed as it was an agreement between sister and brother and Hussain Nawaz was the beneficiary of the agreement/Meanwhile, prosecution witness and Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia is scheduled to appear before the accountability court in the Al Azizia reference on July 3 for cross-examination. Counsel for Maryam and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar, Amjad Pervaiz will also continue final arguments before the court.

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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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.

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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