ISLAMABAD: An accountability court has allowed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to interrogate former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in jail for alleged misuse of vehicles purchased for a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) conference.
The anti-graft watchdog in its application sought court permission to question the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader inside the jail in connection with misuse of dozens of bulletproof vehicles purchased in 2016.
In the application, NAB alleged that the previous government purchased 34 bulletproof vehicles from Germany without paying import duties for the guests of the Saarc conference. According to the anti-graft watchdog, these vehicles were being used by Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.
IHC admits ex-PM’s petition seeking suspension of sentence
NAB informed the court that during the course of inquiry statements of former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former principal secretary to the prime minister Fawad Hassan Fawad and others had already been recorded. However, court permission was needed to question Nawaz Sharif inside the jail in this matter.
Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik of the accountability court granted the permission to NAB to interrogate the ex-premier in Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail.
Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued notices to NAB and the superintendent of Kot Lakhpat jail while admitting for regular hearing a petition seeking suspension of the sentence handed down to Nawaz Sharif.
The IHC division bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani took up the ex-premier’s petition seeking release from jail on medical grounds.
Khawaja Haris Ahmed, counsel for Nawaz Sharif, produced his medical reports before the bench and asserted that the former prime minister was suffering from serious diseases that could put his life in danger.
He requested the court to suspend the seven-year sentence handed down to him and to grant Nawaz Sharif post-arrest bail on medical grounds, enabling him to receive medical treatment from a doctor of his own choice.
The petition contended that the apex court initially had suspended the sentence for six weeks allowing the main opposition party supreme leader to get medical treatment from doctors of his choice. It said that medical tests, which were conducted while he was out on bail, showed the multifarious diseases/ailments of the petitioner (Sharif) were not just life threatening, but also the threat to the petitioner’s life on account of these co-morbidities was bound to aggravate in case the petitioner was exposed to any physical or psychological stress.
Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2019