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AC reserves verdict in Nawaz’s petition to merge references

AC reserves verdict in Nawaz’s petition to merge references
November 7, 2017
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The accountability court (AC) has on Tuesday reserved the judgment on the petition of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif seeking the clubbing of three references into one filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in line with the Supreme Court directive in the Panamagate case. The former premier, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, his son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar appeared before the accountability court (AC) on Tuesday (today). The accountability court (AC) judge Muhammad Bashir resumed hearing of the three corruption references against the Sharif family. During the proceedings, Khawaja Haris, the counsel of Nawaz Sharif while presenting his arguments said that the nature of all three references against Sharif family was same and thus they should be clubbed together and heard as a single case. He said that the main accused in the references have not been mentioned, adding that the NAB failed to complete its investigation. Presenting his arguments in the court, the NAB prosecutor said that every case and its inquiry has a separate volume that has been prepared by JIT. The prosecutor said that witnesses are although common but the record has to be presented separately; hence, three different references qualify on the basis of allegations. “Every persons has its individual role in every property,” he contended. The judge then reserved his decision on Nawaz's plea and is expected to issue his decision tomorrow. The court further remarked that the petition filed by Maryam Nawaz and her husband Cpt (r) Safdar filed an application seeking a change in their indictment on the grounds that their charge-sheet mentions submission of a "false" document [wherein the Calibri font was used] will be heard tomorrow. In the last hearing, the court had adjourned the hearing until today after Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed the accountability court to again hear Nawaz's plea seeking to club the three references against him. The AC directed to present the copy of detailed decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on petitions filed by the former premier Nawaz Sharif seeking to club all corruption references filed against him by the country’s anti-graft watchdog. 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.