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Fifth deadline to wind up trial against Nawaz ends today

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 in six weeks is expiring today. 

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

The accountability court of Judge Arshad Malik is currently seized with hearing of the corruption cases against the former premier and his family members.

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

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

Accountability Judge Arshad Malik will likely submit a request to the Supreme Court seeking more time to conclude trial of Nawaz Sharif.

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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