General

Court to announce joint verdict in remaining corruption references against Nawaz

An accountability court in Islamabad on Monday ordered to announce a joint verdict in the two remaining corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.
The former premier appeared before accountability court II as Judge Arshad Malik resumed hearing the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references.
During the hearing, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Harris appealed to Judge Arshad Malik to announce a joint verdict in the two remaining referenced filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the Sharif family.
“Accountability court I had also decided on a joint verdict in the three references. However, it only announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference,” Harris said.
“The other two cases were then transferred as verdict on one of them came separately,” Nawaz’s counsel upheld.
Approving Harris’s request and ordering a joint verdict in the remaining two references, the court adjourned the hearing till August 27 (Monday).
During the last hearing on August 15, the former premier was brought to the court in a bulletproof SUV unlike the hearing before that when he was brought to the federal judicial complex in an armoured personnel carrier (APC).
The statements of investigating officer Mehboob Alam were recorded in the Al-Azizia reference during the last hearing.
On August 7, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) transferred the two references to Accountability Court II.
A two-member bench of the IHC, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, ordered the transfer of the cases on Nawaz’s plea.
Nawaz’s legal counsel had filed an appeal requesting the court to transfer the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references from the court of Accountability Judge-I Mohammad Bashir to another accountability court.
On July 6, accountability court Judge Mohammad Bashir had announced the verdict in the Avenfield properties corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), handing the ousted prime minister 10 years as jail time and seven years to his daughter Maryam Nawaz.
The trial
The trial against the Sharif family commenced on September 14, 2017.
On July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference.
Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.
The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.
On July 10, the Supreme Court granted another six-week extension for Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the remaining corruption references against Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.