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Deadline to complete trial against Nawaz ends

ISLAMABAD: The fifth deadline to wind up trial against former premier Nawaz Sharif and members of his family in the Al-Azizia and Flagship corruption cases has ended.

Accountability Judge Arshad Malik, who is currently hearing the cases against the Sharif family, will likely make a request to the apex court to grant further extension in the trial period of the former premier.

On August 26, the top court directed the accountability court to decide the remaining two cases against Mr Sharif within six weeks.

In the Al-Azizia reference, the court has so far recorded depositions of all the prosecution witnesses and cross-examination of the investigation officer is under way. Nawaz Sharif’s statement would be recorded once the IO’s cross-examination ends.

Whereas, star witness Wajid Zia, who headed the Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT), and the investigation officer are yet to testify in the Flagship reference.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three references against the Sharif family in pursuance of the July 28 order that disqualified Nawaz Sharif from the office of prime minister.

A reference pertaining to the Sharif family’s Avenfield properties in London has been decided while Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references are pending disposal.

On July 6, an accountability court had sentenced Nawaz to a total of eleven years in prison and imposed a £8 million fine in the corruption reference.  His daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine while Safdar was given a one-year sentence.

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