Nawaz allowed to skip court in Al-Azizia case


–Court tells former prime minister’s legal team to present arguments against judgement on April 23


ISLAMABAD: While granting a one-day exemption to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the Al-Azizia case on Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed the ex-PM’s lawyers to present arguments for the appeal against seven-year imprisonment on April 23.

Appearing before a division bench of the IHC, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani, counsels representing Nawaz Sharif submitted that their client was not able to appear before the court on medical grounds.

Substantiating their claim, they submitted that the Supreme Court had granted a six-week bail to their client owing to his prevailing medical condition, hence he wasn’t able to appear before the accountability court.

Responding to a court query, the counsels said that they will represent Sharif before the bench instead of Khawaja Haris during the course of the day as he was occupied somewhere else. The counsels also produced a medical certificate of Nawaz Sharif for the exemption from appearing before the bench.

However, the bench asked them to commence arguments to justify their client’s appeal against the accountability court verdict that had sentenced him to seven years in jail. The same verdict, however, acquitted him in another reference relating to Flagship Investments.

The counsels requested the bench to go through its earlier order in the matter, saying the court office has to provide paper books of the case to all parties of the case without which they could not present their arguments in the matter.

After a brief adjudication, the bench said in its short order that defence team and the NAB will be provided copies of the paper books of the case, whereby counsels of the convicted were asked to commence arguments in the case during the next hearing.

Besides, the bench also fixed hearing of the appeal of the NAB against the acquittal of Nawaz Sharif in Flagship corruption reference on April 29.