Hearing of corruption references against Nawaz, family under way

Hearing of corruption references against Nawaz, family under way

Earlier, the accountability court on Monday approved a plea filed by former prime minister seeking change in time period for exemption from appearance in the court, while rejected the same plea of his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

Nawaz is facing three corruption references in the accountability court filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court's July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case which led to his disqualification.

The court accepted Nawaz's plea, however, Judge Mohammad Bashir dismissed Maryam's request, stating that the court's earlier ruling on the matter will prevail.

Sharif along with his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar appeared in the court.

The petitioner's lawyer also informed the court that Advocate Faisal Irfan will be presenting Safdar in his absence during the court proceedings. The court had allowed Maryam to be exempted from an appearance from Nov 15 until Dec 15.

The Islamabad High Court on Monday dismissed ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's plea to club three corruption cases against him. The hearing was then adjourned until Tuesday.

Later, when Nawaz Sharif along with Maryam and Safdar again appeared, the court recorded the statement of prosecution witness Malik Tayyab Ahmad, who is an employee of a private commercial bank.

Sharif and his sons Hassan and Hussain have been named in all the three references, whereas Maryam and Safdar have been named only in the Avenfield properties reference.

The court directed the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to freeze these shares after taking into account details presented in a report submitted by NAB prosecutor Afzal Qureshi.

Nawaz's lawyer had argued before a two-member bench of the high court that similarities had been noted between the references and sought the consolidation of at least two references ─ Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment references.

The anti-graft body was given six weeks, from the date of the apex court's order, to file the reference in an accountability court while the accountability court was granted six months to wrap up the proceedings.