ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Monday fixed Oct 13 for indictment of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Muhammad Safdar in graft references.
Sharif and his sons have been nominated in all three references, while Maryam and her husband have been named only in a reference related to the family’s London flats.
Maryam appeared before the court amid tight security and extensive protocol in the hearing today. She was accompanied by ministers, and senior PML-N leaders.
Judge Muhammad Bashir supplied her a copy of the reference along with relevant material to peruse and called a short recess until her spouse, retired Captain Muhammad Safdar, was produced before him by the NAB.
She furnished a surety bond of Rs5 million to secure bail in the case.
Safdar granted bail
The court also granted bail to Safdar against a surety bond of Rs5 million and ordered his release.
He was taken into custody by NAB shorty after he landed at Benazir Bhutto International Airport along with his wife Maryam in the early hours of Monday morning.
The judge rejected the request of Nawaz Sharif’s counsel to adjourn the cases for two weeks so that his client could return from London and appear before it. He set Oct 13 for his, Maryam and Safdar’s indictment.
Advocate Khawaja Harris told the judge that Sharif couldn’t appear because he is in London, taking care of his ailing wife Kulsoom Nawaz.
The court declared Hussain and Hassan absconders after their perpetual absence from proceedings.
The NAB prosecutor requested the judge to initiate proceedings to declare the absconding accused as proclaimed offenders and order attachment of their properties, arguing that they did not want to join proceedings.
Maryam and her spouse returned to Pakistan to appear in accountability court in connection with a reference related to the Sharif family’s flats in a posh London neighbuorhood.
Non-bailable warrants for Safdar, Hussain and Hassan Nawaz
On Oct 2, the court had issued non-bailable warrants for Hussain, Hassan Nawaz, and Safdar for failing to appear before it. It, however, had not issued non-bailable warrants for Maryam and repeated her bailable arrest warrants after Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer assured it that she and her husband would join the proceedings on Oct 9.
She had departed for London shortly after her ailing mother won the by-election in NA-120 constituency vacated after the disqualification of her father by the Supreme Court.
Graft references against ex-PM Sharif
A five member bench of the apex court on July 8 had disqualified former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and directed NAB to file references against him and his family members within six weeks and directed the accountability court to decide the references within six months.
On Oct 2, Nawaz Sharif showed up for the second time before the court in graft references filed against him by the NAB in compliance with Supreme Court orders. The court had deferred the framing of charges against him and fixed Oct 9 for his indictment.
On that date, Rangers had barred ministers, including Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and PML-N activists, who had come to accompany their leader at his appearance in court, from entering the court premises.
On Oct 5, Sharif departed for London to spend time with his ailing wife there after being re-elected unopposed as the president of PML-N following the passage of Election Reforms Act 2017 from the National Assembly.
The former prime minister and members of his family are facing three graft references in connection with their flats in a posh London neighbourhood, Al Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Company Ltd and other offshore companies.