Pakistan

IHC rejects plea to stay accountability court proceedings against Nawaz Sharif

Nawaz Sharif

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday issued notice to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to respond to an application of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif challenging the accountability court’s Nov 08 verdict.

Sharif through his counsel filed the appeal, requesting the high court to set aside the verdict of the accountability court through which it rejected his plea to merge all the three references into one.

After preliminary hearing, a bench of the IHC issued notice to the NAB and adjourned the hearing till Monday.

Meanwhile, the bench rejected a miscellaneous application of the former prime minister seeking to restrain the trial court from proceeding in the NAB references until his application is decided.

On Nov 8, the accountability court’s Judge Muhammad Bashir rejected the Sharif’s application for joint trial and framed charges against him in each of the three references.

The three references related to the Sharif family’s London flats, Flagship Investment Ltd and Al Azizia & Hill Metal Establishment.

The former prime minister rejected all corruption charges while pleading not guilty and opted to contest them.

The former prime minister had filed applications in the trial court, requesting it to conduct a joint trial of all the three references filed against him by the NAB.

Earlier on Oct 19, the trial court had rejected his pleas to club together the references. Subsequently, Sharif went to the Islamabad High Court, challenging its verdict.

Later, a bench of the IHC granted Sharif’s request with regard to clubbing together the three corruption references filed against him, and revoked the accountability court’s Oct 19 verdict, directing it to reconsider the request.

In his plea, Sharif’s lawyer had argued that the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case had not asked the NAB to file the references separately. Thus, he added, separate references can not be filed against him, requesting the court to club together all three references.

Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar have been nominated in a single corruption reference in connection with the Sharif family’s London properties.

Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif and his two sons – Hasan and Hussain Nawaz – have been nominated in two references regarding the Aziza Steel Mills, Hill Metals Establishment.

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