ISLAMABAD: After their failure to show up in Tuesday hearing, an accountability court once again directed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family to appear before it on Sept 26 in graft references against them.
Judge Muhammad Bashir reissued summons against members of the Sharif family after they failed to turn up today in response to the court’s earlier notice for appearance.
He directed Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader Asif Kirmani, who was present in the court, to inform the Sharif family about the summons.
At the outset, NAB prosecutor submitted the implementation report, saying a security officer deputed at the Lahore residence of the Sharif family refused to receive the summons. He quoted the security officer as saying that Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz had instructed him not to receive the summons.
The judge censured the NAB official for failing to serve the summons and said these summons were for the Sharif family and not their security officer.
He reissued the summons for Sharif family members with a direction to record the statement of the person who receives them.
The hearing was put off till Sept 26.
Kirmani told media outside the court that those who were issued notices are in London owing to the ailment of Sharif’s wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz. He said she is likely to undergo another surgery for throat cancer in a day or two.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawyer Faisal Chaudhry said he appeared before the court following the instructions of PTI chief Imran Khan to peruse the cases.
He said the court should have issued warrants for the arrest of the suspects and hoped that it will not take lenient approach towards them on the next hearing if they fail to appear.
The court had earlier summoned Sharif, his sons – Hussain and Hassan – daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Safdar to appear on Sept 19 in connection with National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references.
Sharif along with his children is currently in London in connection with the treatment of his ailing wife.
Maryam, who had run her mother’s campaign for NA-120 by-election, left for London along with her husband on Monday to see her ailing mother.
Sources said the Sharifs will not show up before the accountability court since they believe the outcome of the references against them is predetermined and they do not expect justice.
Despite being summoned repeatedly by National Accountability Bureau , members of the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had chosen not to join investigation with regard to references against them.
Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his sons, daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Capt Safdar had been subpoenaed in three NAB references with regard to their flats in a posh London neighbourhood, Al Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Company Ltd and other offshore companies.
The fourth reference was filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar under Section 14-c for possessing assets beyond the known sources of his income.
The national anti-graft watchdog had filed the references against the Sharif family and finance minister in compliance with the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.
On July 28, the apex court had disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and ordered the filing of references against him, his children and the finance minister in light of the Panama joint investigation team report.