SC to hear a plea by Accountability Court Judge who has requested for an extended deadline of Nawaz’s corruption references

SC to hear a plea by Accountability Court Judge who has requested for an extended deadline of Nawaz’s corruption references

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ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will hear today a plea by Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir who has requested the apex court for an extension in the deadline to conclude the corruption references against the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.

The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017. The court had originally set a deadline of six months which was later extended thrice, with the new date being July 10.

A two-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar and including Justice Ijazul Ahsan will hear the plea today.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three references against the Sharif family last year after the Panama Papers case verdict against Nawaz.

Last week, the accountability court sentenced Nawaz, daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar to jail in the Avenfield properties reference.

After the court’s verdict, the remaining cases pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, and offshore companies including Flagship Investment Limited.

During the hearing of the Al Azizia reference on Monday, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris objected to the judge’s hearing of the remaining two references after having given his verdict in one reference.

Haris claimed that the judge cannot hear these cases as they contain a similar set of evidence and the judge has made his opinion clear on the matter after the Avenfield verdict. He further asked the judge to mention his objections in the letter to the apex court.

Haris resisted that the proceedings should be taken forward once directions from the Supreme Court have been received in this regard.

“We wanted all the references to be decided simultaneously,” Nawaz’s counsel remarked further.

The judge then adjourned the hearing until July 12.

Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.

The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.

 

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