Delay in Al-Azizia case book preparation irks IHC


The Islamabad High Court (IHC) expressed displeasure at the delay in the preparation of a case book of Al-Azizia reference in which former premier Nawaz Sharif was implicated and is currently serving a jail sentence.

While hearing appeals, a two-member bench of the high court questioned why there was a delay in the preparation of the case book. The bench also observed the difficulty of hearing appeals in the absence of proper documentation.

Nawaz’s counsel Khawaj Haris said that a chart had been prepared with the relevant details, however, some documents were either missing or their order was not correct in the case book.

To this, Justice Amir said that the registrar office should be kept in the loop to avoid asking it for changes later. The judge also said that more than 20,000 pages have already been copied.

The bench also asked the NAB prosecutor whether the anti-graft body had emailed documents to the registrar office. Upon receiving an answer in the affirmative, Justice Amir asked why NAB wanted additional documents to be included in the case book. The NAB prosecutor said that some documents were stale and the anti-graft body had submitted better copies.

Raising an objection to NAB prosecutor’s statement, Nawaz’s counsel said that these documents were not presented during the trial and if they are being added to the case book, he should be informed beforehand.

Over this, Justice Amir said that the court will make a schedule for hearing the appeals and the case parties must state how much time they require. Haris told the court that it would be informed of the situation soon.

The court then directed the registrar office to expedite the task while avoiding the addition of irrelevant documents and adjourned the hearing until September.

Nawaz had challenged the accountability court’s verdict in the Al-Azizia case in a petition filed with IHC while the anti-graft body had requested the court to extend the punishment of the former premier.