Maryam Nawaz’s remand extended by 14 days

Police officers escort Maryam Nawaz, daughter of arrested former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as she appears in an accountability court in Lahore, Pakistan, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. Court summoned her for using a bogus trust deed in the Avenfield properties case. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudhry)

LAHORE: An accountability court on Wednesday extended the remand of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz and her cousin, Yousaf Abbas Sharif, by 14 days in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case.

Maryam and Yusuf were produced before the court on Wednesday.

At the outset of the proceedings, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor pleaded with the court for extending physical remand of the accused for another 15 days. He submitted that further investigations were required into transfer of shares of the mills whereas Maryam Nawaz was not cooperating in this regard.

The prosecutor submitted that Chaudhry Sugar Mills was established in 1992 whereas Maryam Nawaz was a major shareholder during 2008-10. He submitted that Nawaz Sharif suddenly became a major shareholder of the mills in 2015-16 whereas he was also the prime minister then. He submitted that Maryam Nawaz stated that Company Secretary Ajmal Sabtain and CFO Jawad Ahmad had record of transfer of shares whereas both persons told investigators that no record was available with them.

The defence counsel opposed the remand request, saying that the bureau obtained physical remand of the accused on same allegations earlier. He submitted that a joint investigation team was constituted on the orders of the apex court and it had also investigated Chaudhry Sugar Mills’ matter.

He submitted that the shares were transferred by Maryam’s grandfather Mian Sharif during his life. He submitted that despite various investigations since 1994, nothing had been proved against Maryam Nawaz, whereas she did not have any link with money laundering.

The court, after hearing arguments of the parties, reserved verdict on remand plea for a short time but, later, extended the physical remand of Maryam Nawaz and Yousaf Abbas for another 14 days and directed for producing them on September 18.

It is pertinent to mention that strict security arrangements were made on the occasion as policemen were  positioned inside and outside the court, besides officials of anti-riot force.