Hassan and Hussain’s 30-day deadline to appear before court expires


ISLAMABAD: The thirty-day deadline given to Hussain and Hassan Nawaz, sons of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, to appear before the accountability court hearing corruption cases against them expired on Friday.
With the expiry of the deadline, properties of the scions of Nawaz family may be seized at any given time as they both will be declared ‘proclaimed offenders’.
The two are accused in all three references ordered by the Supreme Court in its July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case: Avenfield properties, Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and Flagship Investment Ltd.
At the hearing of the references on Oct 9, Judge Muhammad Bashir had accepted NAB’s plea to declare Hussain and Hassan proclaimed offenders and separated their proceedings in the three references filed against them.
The accountability court will hear Hassan and Hussain’s case on Nov 14. Their non-bailable arrest warrants, issued at the last hearing on Oct 2, remain in effect.
Earlier, the judge had directed for initiating the process of declaring them proclaimed offenders.
This involved publication of notices in newspapers directing the accused to appear in court. Failure to do so would result in seizure of property and issuance of further warrants.
On Oct 12, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) posted the court’s proclamation order on the main gate of the Sharif family’s residences in Jati Umra and Model Town, Lahore.
NAB Rawalpindi said the action was taken in light of the accountability court’s directions for the initiation of the process to declare them proclaimed offenders, as they failed to show up in the court’s last hearing.
Later, the court ordered the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to freeze Hassan and Hussain’s assets.
As the hearing against the brothers, whose trial in the high-profile corruption case has been separated from other family members’ owing to their continued absence, went underway, the NAB submitted a report detailing assets owned by Nawaz’s sons in Pakistan.
NAB said in its report that according to the SECP, Hassan and Hussain own shares in six companies.
The court then directed the SECP to freeze their shares and ordered both accused to appear in court by Nov 8, which they failed to do.
Both brothers are based outside the country.