Nawaz exempted from personal appearance in sugar mills case

Updated 04 Jan 2020

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Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. — Reuters/File
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. — Reuters/File

LAHORE: An accountability court on Friday allowed exemption from personal appearance to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on medical grounds in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case till the next hearing.

A lawyer told the court that Mr Sharif was still under treatment in London and doctors had not permitted him to travel by air so far. He submitted an application seeking one-time exemption from personal appearance for the former premier.

Presiding Judge Ameer Muhammad Khan allowed the application and adjourned hearing till Jan 17.

Nawaz’s nephew Yousaf Abbas was brought to the court from jail to attend the proceedings, while PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, who is on bail, had already been exempted by the court from personal appearance till filing of a reference by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The judge also extended judicial remand of Abbas till the next hearing.

Meanwhile, the judge extended judicial remand of Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz till Jan 17 in an illegal assets/money laundering case by the NAB. A prosecutor told the court that the reference will be filed soon after completion of the investigation.

In a separate hearing about freezing of assets owned by the family of PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif and his sons Hamza and Suleman, the judge summoned investigating officer on Jan 17.

The judge had previously allowed an application by the NAB to freeze assets of the Shahbaz family giving 14 days to the aggrieved party to challenge the decision.

On Friday, a counsel on behalf of the aggrieved family filed an application before the court and questioned the legality of the decision. The judge issued a notice to the IO on the application and directed him to appear in person along with the record on the next hearing.

The NAB had sought freezing of the assets owned by Shahbaz Sharif and his family members following an inquiry into money laundering.

Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2020