Nawaz Sharif’s plea to merge references rejected, charged again

08 Nov, 2017 3:49 pm

ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The accountability court (AC) has on Wednesday again indicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif after rejecting his petition seeking to club three corruption references into one filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in line with the Supreme Court directive in the Panamagate case.

The accountability court (AC) judge Muhammad Bashir resumed hearing of the petition seeking to club three corruption references into one.

During the proceedings, the AC judge rejected the former prime minister’s plea seeking the clubbing of three references into one filed by the country’s anti-graft watchdog.

The judge called Nawaz Sharif to the rostrum after which his indictment was read out.

The former PM denied all the charges and said that he is being targeted political revenge.

He said that his basic rights were being slabbed and he was denied the right to a fair trial and his basic rights were not protected.

The former premier said that they will themselves in the trial.

Nawaz Sharif also signed the copies of the indictment.

The judge later while directing the witnesses to appear before the court, adjourned the hearing until November 15.

Earlier, the former premier appeared before the accountability court (AC) along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar in mega corruption references filed against him by the NAB.

Stringent security arrangements have been made on the occasion, while several party leaders including Talal Chaudhry, Daniyal Aziz and Asif Kirmani and hundreds of workers are also present outside the court.

In the last hearing, the accountability court (AC) had reserved the judgment on the petition of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif seeking to merge three references into one filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in line with the Supreme Court directive in the Panamagate case.

Khawaja Haris, the counsel of Nawaz Sharif and prosecutor National Accountability Bureau completed their arguments on the request of Mian Nawaz Sharif for hearing of the three reference together.

The counsel of former premier argued there should be one reference and one trial as references are identical and witnesses are also same.

NAB prosecutor opposed hearing of the three reference together.

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had directed the accountability court to again hear Nawaz’s plea seeking to club the three references against him.

Sharif returned to Pakistan from London last week after weeks of speculation. He had been staying in the UK capital while his wife underwent cancer treatment.

Last month, the court had issued bailable arrest warrants after the former PM failed to show up for previous hearings.

Previously, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three cases of corruption and money laundering against Sharif, his family members and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the Islamabad Accountability Court following the verdict.

The anti-graft body NAB had frozen the bank accounts and seized properties of Sharif and his family members to put pressure on them to appear before the court.

The Sharifs have denied any wrongdoing and have labelled the corruption proceedings against them as politically motivated. Two of Nawaz’s sons are also due to appear before the NAB court, along with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

Nawaz was disqualified by the Supreme Court in July for not declaring a source of income that he disputes receiving. Pakistan’s top court also ordered a wide-ranging NAB investigation and trial into Sharif family members.

The Supreme Court specified that the trial be concluded within six months by NAB, which has in the past been derided as toothless because rich and powerful politicians were seldom convicted.

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