Avenfield Reference: Court to announce verdict on Nawaz’s plea today
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – An accountability court (AC) will today (Wednesday) announce reserve judgement on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plea in case related to Avenfield Reference. The accountability court (AC) judge Muhammad Bashir was conducting hearing of the Avenfield reference against the Sharif family. Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar appeared before the court amid tight security. In today’s proceedings, Wajid Zia, former head of joint investigation team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court over Panamagate case, recorded his statement, while the counsel of Nawaz Sharif will cross examine the witnesses. The court which had earlier reserved verdict on Nawaz Sharif’s plea will tomorrow announce the verdict. The court adjourned the hearing until March 22, when Zia will appear for the first time to record his statement in the other two references against Nawaz. 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 labeled 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.