Accountability court adjourns hearing as Nawaz seeks suspension of proceedings

Published November 28, 2017
Nawaz Sharif arrives at accountability court in Islamabad.─DawnNews
Nawaz Sharif arrives at accountability court in Islamabad.─DawnNews

An accountability court in Islamabad on Tuesday adjourned the hearing into corruption references against the Sharif family after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif requested the investigators to suspend proceedings until the Islamabad High Court announces its verdict in a petition pertaining to the clubbing of references.

On November 23, the high court had reserved its judgement on a petition by the ousted premier to club the references against him. The request filed by Nawaz today sought suspension of the accountability court's proceedings until the decision is announced.

National Accountability Bureau's prosecutor, Sardar Muzzafar, objected to Nawaz's request stating that witnesses had appeared on behalf of Bureau for the hearing and should be allowed to record their statement. The prosecutor pointed out that one of the witnesses had only recorded half of his testimony in the previous hearing and should be allowed to complete it today.

However, the accountability court rejected the prosecutor's request as it adjourned the hearing until Dec 4.

Earlier, heavy protocol had escorted Nawaz to the accountability court from the Islamabad airport when he arrived there from Lahore.

The premier's daughter, Maryam Nawaz, and her husband, Captain (retired) Mohammad Safdar, were present in the court during the hearing.

NAB references

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court on July 28 had directed NAB to file references against Nawaz and his children in six weeks in the accountability court and directed the trial court to decide the references within six months.

The Supreme Court also assigned Justice Ijazul Ahsan a supervisory role to monitor the progress of the accountability court proceedings.

NAB had filed three references on Sept 8 against Sharif and his family, and another reference against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. The three references against the Sharif family are related to the Flagship Investment Ltd, the Avenfield (London) properties and Jeddah-based Al-Azizia Company and Hill Metal Establishment.

The former premier and his sons, Hassan and Hussain, have been named in all three NAB references, while Maryam and husband Safdar have been named only in the Avenfield reference.

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