ISLAMABAD - Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir could not take up corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and other family members after defence counsels, Khawaja Haris and Amjad Perviaz, did not show up on Tuesday.

When the court took up the cases, the former premier, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Mohammad Safdar were present in the courtroom, but Kh Haris, the defence counsel representing Sharif, could not turn up due to his engagement in the Supreme Court.

Junior defence counsel Aysha Hamid told the court that as Kh Haris was busy in the apex court, the hearing should be deferred for some time. The court accepting the plea deferred the recording of statements of prosecution witnesses till 2 pm.

Former premier Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar left the court premises after the judge took the break.

When the court resumed hearing at 2 pm, defence counsel Kh Haris did not show up. At the same time, Sharif and other accused in the references had also left the court.

Judge Bashir seemed annoyed over the non-serious attitude of the defendants and said that the respondents were not taking the case seriously.

Sharif’s family representative Zaafir Khan informed the court that the defence counsel was on way to the NAB court from the Supreme Court and when he did not turn up even after a lapse of another half-an-hour, junior defence counsel Hamid sought an adjournment in the case till next Tuesday.

NAB Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar opposed it and said that the defendants were just wasting court time and adopting delaying tactics to linger the cases and prayed to the court not to grant them a week’s time.

The court accepting the plea of the prosecution adjourned the hearing till today (Wednesday) and once again issued notices to the prosecution witnesses to appear before the court to record their statements.

The court would also decide about recording the statements of UK-based witnesses through a video-link.