Al-Azizia reference: Court rejects defence counsel’s postponement plea

An accountability court hearing the Al-Azizia reference against Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday rejected a postponement plea by the defence counsel.
As the hearing went under way today, the accountability court judge Arshad Malik noted that the Supreme Court has ordered the references to be closed in six weeks.
The legal assistant of defence counsel Sher Afghan Asadi apprised the accountability court that Khawaja Haris was unable to attend the hearing as he was attending the Islamabad High Court hearing of the petitions pertaining to suspension of the Avenfield verdict.
The IHC has fixed today (Tuesday) and Wednesday for the case’s hearing, Asadi informed the court. Haris cannot appear before the accountability court as he was busy with preparing arguments for the IHC hearings, Asaid said.
“The IHC hears petitions [pertaining to the Avenfield verdict] on a daily basis,” Asaid said. To this, the judge noted that the accountability court also hears the corruption references on a daily basis.
National Accountability Bureau’s prosecutor general Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi said the anti-graft body’s witness Wajid Zia was present for cross-examination.
Noting that the court had only four weeks till the Supreme Court’s deadline expires, the accountability judge refused the request to postpone the hearing till Thursday.