–Former PM’s counsel says ‘we need to sit and analyse questions before furnishing response [in Al-Azizia case]
–Judge Malik says willing to cut queries in order to conclude trial within SC’s deadline
ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday sought more time from the accountability court to provide answers of four remaining questions out of 151 pertaining to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference.
Accountability Judge Arshad Malik was hearing the case.
Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris requested the court to allow his client more time so that he could complete the study and research for the remaining queries before submitting the answers. He said, “We need to sit and analyse questions before furnishing the response.”
The counsel assured the judge that Nawaz would ensure his presence in court on Thursday. The judge responded that the case needed to be wrapped up in three weeks as ordered by the Supreme Court. He added that the court would try limiting the questions put forth from 70 to 75.
Nawaz Sharif has submitted his answers to 147 questions in the Al-Azizia case, while others have been avoided due to their “complex nature”.
On Nov 19, the SC gave three weeks to the accountability court to wrap up the graft references against Nawaz Sharif.
The apex court issued the order in response to a request submitted by the accountability court seeking another extension to wind up Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment references against Sharif.
The order was issued by the two-member SC bench. Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar stated in his order that the Supreme Court would not grant a further extension for the completion of the trial against the ex-PM.
According to the charge sheet against the former premier in the Al-Azizia reference, the former premier has been accused of owning assets which are disproportionate to his declared sources of income.
It says transactions have been carried out between the Sharif family and their companies without any plausible explanation.