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Nawaz appears before NAB court in Al-Azizia, Flagship references case

Nawaz appears before NAB court in Al-Azizia, Flagship references case

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday appeared before an accountability court which resumed the hearing of remaining two corruption cases, Al-Azizia and Flagship references, against him and his family.

The Accountability Court II Judge Arshad Malik is hearing the cases against Sharif family.

Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris who could not appear before the court on last hearing due to his illness continued his cross-questioning to investigation officer Mehboob Alam.

Furthermore, the court has summoned Panama JIT head and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) star witness Wajid Zia in Flagship investment corruption reference.

At the last hearing, the judge expressed his displeasure over the absence of defence counsel noting that the case has not made any progress in the present week.

He also remarked that the apex court is yet to grant an extension to complete the corruption trial.

In September 2017, the trial against the Sharif family commenced. 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.

An accountability court had sentenced Nawaz to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion) in the corruption reference while his daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million). Additionally, Nawaz’s son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar was given a one-year sentence without any fine.

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.

On September 1, NAB challenged an IHC judgment, allowing two of its references against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif to be transferred to another accountability court.

NAB had filed three references against members of the Sharif family in line with the Supreme Court’s order of July 28 last year.