The accountability court here on Tuesday reserved for a day its judgment on a petition to club corruption references filed against the family of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The decision is expected to be announced on Wednesday. Sharif and his family are facing three corruption references filed by the anti-graft body, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), in light of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Panama Papers case. They are facing trial in connection with references pertaining to their Avenfield properties in London, the Azizia Steel Mills as well as another 16 offshore companies. The NAB prosecutor opposed the clubbing of the references against the Sharifs. He went on to say that on the application of just one accused, the trial cannot be combined into a single case, the Pakistan media reported.
Nawaz Sharif along with daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain Mohammad Safdar (Retd) appeared in the capital’s accountability court for a hearing in connection with the graft cases filed against them by the NAB, Geo News reported. Sharif left the accountability court after his counsel Khawaja Haris completed his arguments before the bench hearing references filed against him. The court later took up the cases against Maryam and her husband.
Harris argued that the nature of cases, as well as the defence and prosecution of all the references, is the same — thus they should be clubbed together and heard a single case. “Allegations in the references are not clear. They do not constitute any clear offence. Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report didn’t mention what role the accused had played,” Haris said. The PML-N leaders reached the court early on Tuesday amid tight security while a number of workers and leaders were present outside the court. The Islamabad High Court recently accepted Sharif’s plea regarding the clubbing of three NAB references against his family.