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Charges are politically motivated, groundless: Nawaz’s reply to NAB reference chargesheet

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, in his reply to the charge sheet submitted in the NAB references case, said he pleads not guilty and the charges levelled against him are politically motivated and are groundless.
“Charge is groundless and investigation was conducted malafide and is politically motivated,” said the reply submitted by Nawaz when asked if he pleads guilty or has any defence.
Nawaz’s reply further added that he was being denied the right to a fair trial guaranteed by Article 10-A of the Constitution.
“My rights guaranteed under Article-25 of the Constitution as well as the right to be treated in accordance with the law under Article 4 of Constitution are being violated because of unprecedented directions for conclusion of proceedings and decision of the case within 06 months and the appointment of a Monitoring Judge, especially for this case.”
The reply added that Nawaz Will produce defence if needed. 
Earlier, the accountability court hearing corruption cases against Nawaz and his family dismissed Nawaz’s plea seeking the clubbing of three references into one.
Nawaz and his family are facing three corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in light of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Panama Papers case. Nawaz and his two sons, Hussain and Hasan, are nominated in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and her husband are only accused in one. 
The references
The NAB has in total filed three references against the Sharif family and another against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court, in light of the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.
The anti-graft body was given six weeks, from the date of the apex court’s order, to file the reference in an accountability court while the accountability court was granted six months to wrap up the proceedings.
The references against the Sharif family pertain to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, their London properties and over dozen offshore companies owned by the family.
Maryam and Safdar are only nominated in the London properties reference. At an earlier hearing, the court also approved Maryam and Safdar’s bail in the Avenfiled properties case and ordered them to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.
Safdar was also directed to take the court’s permission before leaving the country from now on. The judge also provided a copy of the reference — spread over 53 volumes — to Maryam and Safdar.
NAB’s Rawalpindi branch prepared two references regarding the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and the nearly dozen companies owned by the Sharif family.
Its Lahore branch prepared a reference on the Sharif family’s Avenfield apartments in London and another against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for owning assets beyond his known sources of income.
If convicted, the accused may face up to 14 years imprisonment and lifelong disqualification from holding public office including the freezing of bank accounts and assets.