­ISLAMABAD - National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) counsel Wednesday started his final arguments in Avenfield properties reference case after the accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir dismissed an application moved by former premier Nawaz Sharif to defer further proceedings till closing of the evidence in other two cases.

Nawaz, along with his family members, is facing trial in three corruption cases relating to Avenfiled properties, Al-Azizia and Flagship investments which were filed by NAB on the directions of the Supreme Court in Panamagate verdict.

In his final arguments, NAB’s counsel Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi started arguments citing revelations of the Panama Papers. He stated that the matter subsequently reached the Supreme Court where a joint investigation team (JIT) was formed to probe the matter in detail.

He further stated that after submission of JIT report to the apex court, the NAB was directed to file three references against Sharif family.

“Prosecution had established its case beyond a shadow of doubt and there was not an iota of evidence produced by the defence,” said Abbasi, adding that the defence needed to prove innocence now.

He further said that statement recorded under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) [of the accused persons] did not mention anything to contradict the prosecution evidence.

He also said that Maryam Nawaz and retired Captain Mohammad Safdar “did not produce any witness of trust deed” in order to prove their stance.

The trust deed was declared as fake by the forensic expert Robert William Radley who had decades of experience in the forensic science, he added.

Earlier, on Tuesday, former premier had moved an application seeking the postponement of the final arguments in the Avenfield reference till the closing of prosecution's evidence in other two cases.

In his arguments, Nawaz's counsel barrister Saad Hashmi had taken the stance that Wajid Zia was the only material witness and the JIT report was the only evidence that the prosecution had.

He had stated that the other two references also involved the same evidence and witness; thus, the final arguments should be conducted once proceedings in all three references conclude.

On the other hand NAB’s prosecutor Abbasi, was of the view that the prosecution was ready for final arguments, but the defence appeared to be avoiding and seeking arguments to postpone proceedings.

Later, after hearing the arguments of both parties, accountability court judge dismissed the application seeking postponement of final arguments in the Avenfield reference.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said Wednesday that pre-poll rigging had started in the country, however, the politicians and notable figures of PML-N were being pressurised and forced to join other political parties.

Talking to media informally inside the accountability court, the deposed premier said it was being floated through state institutions that change was inevitable, no one could restraint this coming change.

The former prime minister termed NAB action against politicians a pre-poll rigging stating that court's summons for political figures was tantamount to pre-poll rigging as these parliamentarians of PML-N were being harassed and pressurised to quit PML-N and were being forced to join the political party of the chosen-one.

He claimed that this tactic had started last year to force the political figures of the ruling PML-N to join other parties. This game plan was being implemented since the very day, I was announced disqualified from the apex court, said Nawaz. He said he was disqualified to hold party office of PML-N simply to spread dejection and discouragement inside Nawaz League. Nawaz also said that his party candidates were not being allowed to contest poll on party tickets.

To a query, Nawaz said he came to know about book of Reham Khan through media, adding that either Imran or his supporters might have better knowledge about the book of Reham Khan.

Replying to another query about torture on journalists, Nawaz said it should be in the knowledge of each and every person in Pakistan that how some individuals use to operate in the country.

Nawaz also asserted that 2018 was the year of change which was inevitable. “No one can halt this change now as this change is essentialinevitable for the future of Pakistan, said Nawaz Sharif.