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Sharif corruption references: Court adjourns hearing to Oct 10

September 29, 2012

PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. — Photo by AFP

RAWALPINDI: An accountability court in Rawalpindi adjourned the hearing of a NAB application seeking revival of three corruption references against PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and members of his family until Oct 10, DawnNews reported.

The application filed by the National Accountability Bureau calls for the reopening of three corruption references relating to Hudabiya Paper Mills, Ittefaq Foundries and Raiwind assets in which members of the Sharif family are allegedly involved.

Today's proceedings over the NAB chief's application were carried out in the accountability court of judge Chaudhry Abdul Haq.

During the proceedings, an assistant of Khawaja Harris Ahmed, a senior counsel for Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif, apprised the court that a hearing over the quashing of an FIR over the references was to be held at the LHC's Rawalpindi bench on Oct 1.

The counsel's assistant requested the judge to postpone the hearing until the said date.

The judge subsequently adjourned the case's hearing to Oct 10.

Earlier on Sept 15, the same court had stopped its proceedings on the corruption references after the Sharifs’ counsel submitted a restraining order of the Lahore High Court to it.

Barrister Maqsooma Bokhari, representing the Sharif family, had informed the court that a division bench of the LHC had in its order restrained the accountability court from proceeding till the matter was adjudicated by it.

In October last year, the LHC acting on a petition by the Sharifs had stopped the federal government from going ahead with the matter. The order, however, had not issued any such directive for the accountability court at the time.

NAB references against Sharifs

The NAB had prepared the references during the Musharraf regime in the year 2000 when the Sharif brothers were detained in the Attock Fort. On April 4, 2001, the references were adjourned sine die.

On Aug 8, 2007, the NAB filed an application for revival of the references. But the court did not proceed with the matter which was again adjourned sine die in Aug 2008 because it was not routed through the NAB chairman. Another application filed by the NAB in Feb 2010 was rejected on the same grounds.

In its references, the NAB accused the Sharifs of committing Rs642.743 million worth of corruption in the Paper Mills case.

The second reference – the state versus Nawaz Sharif, etc. – relates to the Raiwind assets. The main allegation is that the accused had acquired vast tracts of land upon which palatial houses and mansions were built with resources which appeared to be grossly disproportionate to their known sources of income. Apart from Nawaz Sharif, his mother is an accused in this case. In the state versus Ittefaq Foundries case, Nawaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif and Kamal Qureshi are accused of committing corruption of Rs1,063 million. The main allegation in the case is that Ittefaq Foundries Ltd obtained cash finance from the National Bank.

According to the NAB, the company wilfully defaulted on the amount in 1994.