ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday postponed hearing of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s appeal against conviction in the Al Aziziz corruption reference till October 7.
A two-member bench, comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Raza Kiyani heard the appeal filed by Nawaz Sharif. The court also heard an appeal filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), requesting an extension in Nawaz’s sentence.
During the hearing, Nawaz's counsel Khawaja Haris asked the court for a verified copy of a press statement and an affidavit released by accountability judge Arshad Malik, who had convicted Nawaz in the Al Azizia reference, after a controversial video of the judge surfaced.
The bench said that both items had been included in the file that was provided to Khawaja Haris.
The court remarked that evidence provided by NAB as well as Nawaz's counsel had been included in the file and told Haris to tally the documents of the paper book with his own record.
The NAB prosecutor requested the court to provide copies of the documents, on which Justice Amir Farooq Kayani remarked that NAB needed copies of Judge Arshad Malik’s affidavit and press release.
“How many times you will take to end this appeal,” the court asked Khawaja Haris. To reply, he said that said it would take two weeks for strating arguments and three months for completion of the arguments on this appeal.
Later, the IHC adjourned hearing on appeal against Nawaz Sharif’s conviction in Al-Azizia reference till October 7.
On the other hand, the PML-N leaders, including party spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb, Raja Zafarul Haq, Ayaz Sadiq, Pervez Rashid are also present in the courtroom.
It is pertinent to mention here that this case was highlighted after alleged video scandal. This will be the first hearing on the petitions since leaked videos of former accountability court judge Arshad Malik emerged.
Lawyers for the former premier have filed a miscellaneous application for his bail, which will also be heard. A copy of former accountability court judge Arshad Malik’s statement on oath has also been annexed with the petition.
The former premier was convicted in the Al-Azizia reference by the accountability court for seven years.
Earlier, the high court had dismissed a plea seeking release of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds.
Nawaz Sharif is currently serving a jail term of 7-years at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore on being proven guilty in Al-Azizia reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Nawaz can’t be released on bail
The IHC, in its detailed verdict on rejection of the bail, has ruled that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif cannot be released on bail as he is already getting sufficient medical facilities in jail.
According to the seven-page verdict written by Justice Aamer Farooq
and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, the jail superintendent can refer the matter to the medical board.
As per rules for prisoners, Nawaz Sharif has never requested the jail superintendent or the court to refer the matter to the medical board.
The court ruled that the opinion of private doctors cannot be considered final and medical reports based on the opinion of private doctors.
According to the reports of the jail superintendent, Nawaz Sharif faces no threat to his life. Moreover, Nawaz Sharif is being provided medical facilities.