Abb Takk News

NAB Court Gets Six Weeks To Conclude Nawaz, Dar’s Cases

Islamabad(July 10, 2018): The Top Court of Pakistan ordered on Tuesday a six-week extension for Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the corruption references against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former finance minister Ishaq Dar. 

This is the fourth time the deadline for the high-profile cases has been extended since the trial started in September last year.

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On Monday, the accountability court had requested the apex court for an extension in the deadline.

As a two-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Ijazul Ahsan took up the plea, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris contended that the witnesses and evidence are similar in all three references against his client; thus a different judge should hear the remaining two references after giving his verdict in Avenfield.

The chief justice remarked that Haris’ request will not be entertained while Justice Ahsan observed that the references are not similar.Haris, however, argued that the trial court judge should hear his plea instead to which the chief justice agreed.

The court then gave the trial court six weeks to conclude the cases and observed that the deadline may be extended if the references are not concluded on time.

Earlier on June 08, The Apex Court had extended the deadline to wrap up corruption cases against Sharif Family by July 09 on the request of the NAB Court.Earlier on May 09, the top court extended the deadline for concluding corruption cases against former PM Nawaz Sharif and his family until June 9.

The accountability court had submitted a request to the apex court seeking another extension in the deadline to conclude the high-profile cases.

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Justice Ahsan during hearing inquired if arguments in the Avenfield reference have concluded and whether its verdict can be given separately.

When the head of the two member bench Justice Azmat Saeed Sheikh, asked how much time the defence counsel requires, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris said he needs three months.

Haris contended that with Ramazan around the corner, a month’s extension would not be enough and the trial should not be rushed.The court however extended the deadline for a month.

Justice Ahsan remarked that the rights of the accused will be safeguarded at all costs.

Avenfield Verdict:

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion) in the Avenfield properties reference on July 6, while his daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million).

The sentences will run concurrently, which means Nawaz will serve 10 years in prison, while Maryam seven. Additionally, Nawaz’s son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar has been given a one year sentence without any fine.

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Accountability Court-I JudgeBashir announced the verdict on Friday after several delays since morning.

Nawaz has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment under NAB ordinance Section 9(a)(v), which relates to owning assets disproportionate to known sources of income.

Corruption Cases:

The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017.

After the court’s verdict against Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar in the Avenfield reference, the remaining cases pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, and offshore companies including Flagship Investment Limited.

Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar were 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 on July 10.

Related News:

AC To Seek Extension in Corruption Cases Against Sharifs

AC Issues Detailed Verdict in Avenfield Reference