Anti-graft court adjourns Nawaz’s corruption references till August 1

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ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday resumed the hearing of Al Azizia and Flagship corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir was hearing the case and inquired about the absence of Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris.

The judge further questioned when the Islamabad High Court (IHC) will take up the Sharif family’s pleas against the Avenfield verdict.

The secondary counsel told the court that “their appeals will be heard on Tuesday”.

Following this, the judge adjourned the hearing briefly in order to allow Nawaz’s counsel, Khawaja Haris to appear in the court.

Judge Bashir observed that he would “wait for the IHC’s instructions on Tuesday”.

The hearing was then adjourned till August 1.

Earlier, on July 18, Khawaja Haris had insisted that the proceedings are heard by another judge.

The judge had remarked that he has written “about the matter to the IHC”, adding that transferring the case to another court does not come under his jurisdiction.

NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi had argued that the IHC had not issued any stay order on the trial proceedings and called for the continuation of the cases.

“It would be appropriate if the same judge who has overseen the case since day one presides over the trial in its concluding phase,” he added.

The hearing was then adjourned until July 30.

On July 17, the IHC took up the Sharif family’s appeals and issued notices to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and adjourned the matter until the last week of July.

The court had issued separate notices to NAB on Nawaz’s plea to transfer the remaining corruption cases against him to another judge as well as on the family’s appeals against the Avenfield verdict.

However, the court had dismissed their requests to stay the corruption trial of the remaining references, as well as the Avenfield verdict, till their appeals are decided by the IHC.

A number of appeals have been filed by Nawaz, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar regarding the Avenfield case verdict.

Furthermore, Nawaz has been shifted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad from Rawalpindi’s Adiala prison after his medical condition deteriorated.

The cardiac ward of the hospital has been declared a sub-jail for the purpose.

Meanwhile, Maryam and Safdar are serving their sentence at the Adiala prison.

The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017, after NAB filed the Avenfield, Al Azizia and Flagship references.

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