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Accountability court adjourns graft hearing against Nawaz, Maryam

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on Tuesday appeared before an accountability court for the trial proceedings in the references filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). 

Judge Muhammad Bashir adjourned the hearing of the references until December 4 on the request of Sharif’s counsel who pleaded with the court to put off the hearing until Sharif’s plea, for merging the three references into one, is decided by the Islamabad High Court.

Nawaz Sharif and his daughter arrived at Islamabad airport from Lahore on Tuesday morning and were driven straight to the accountability court in cavalcade.

Prosecution witness Malik Tayyab was to record his statement in Al-Aziza reference, whereas witnesses, Mukhtar and Umar Daraz, were to record their statements in Avenfield properties and Flagship Investment references today.

A day earlier, the accountability judge adjourned the hearing of the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case against the Sharif family owing to the absence of lawyers and witnesses.

On Nov 22, the court recorded the statements of Mohammad Rasheed, Mazhar Raza Khan Bangash, Shahbaz Haider Chaudhry and Tayyab in the Avenfiled flats reference. Subsequently, Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris cross-examined them.

Sharif and his daughter filed applications to amend the dates for their exemption from personal appearance.

On Nov 15, the court granted Maryam exemption for one month while Sharif for a week. However, they appeared before the accountability court and requested it to grant exemption from Dec 5.

Maryam and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar have been named in a single corruption reference pertaining to the Sharif family’s London properties. Whereas, Sharif and his two sons – Hassan and Hussain – have been nominated in three references related to the London flats, Al-Aziza Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment.

NAB has already initiated the process of declaring Hussain and Hassan proclaimed offenders.

On Oct 9, the accountability court ordered NAB to initiate the process of declaring the former premier’s sons proclaimed offenders over their perpetual absence from the trial proceedings in three graft references.



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