Pakistan

Sharif’s claim of three references on single accusation untrue, court rules

Nawaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court here on Friday issued its detailed ruling on the plea filed by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who pleaded the court for clubbing three graft references against him into one.

Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir released the nine-page order in writing, which he read in the last hearing on Nov 8 while rejecting Sharif’s request.

Sharif, along with his family members, is facing three corruption references — Avenfield properties case, Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment case, and Flagship Investment Ltd — filed by the anti-corruption watchdog in compliance with the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict in the Panama Papers case.

The court ruled that all three references comprise different charges, contrary to the petitioner’s claim of being accused in same charges.

Besides the accusations, the judge noted that only witnesses were common in all three references.

Sharif, in his plea, had argued that filling multiple references on a single allegation, possessing assets beyond known sources of income, was the sheer breach of Section 9 (a) (5) of the National Accountability Ordinance (NAO).

The court will resume hearing the case against Nawaz, Maryam, and Capt (retd) Safdar on Nov 15 (Wednesday).

The References

Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar are nominated in a single corruption reference in connection with London properties.

On the other hand, ex-PM Sharif and his two sons – Hasan and Hussain Nawaz – have also been nominated in two other references regarding the Azizia Steel Mills, Hill Metals Establishment, and nearly dozen other companies owned by the Sharif family.

Ousted PM Sharif could face lifetime disqualification from holding a public office including the freezing of bank accounts, besides 14 years imprisonment over conviction in the references.

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