The Accountability Court rejected the petition to transfer the Al-Azizia corruption reference against the Sharif family from Judge Muhammad Bashir's court.

During the hearing, Khawaja Harris, Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi appeared in the accountability court. 

Sharif family is now facing two corruption references in the Accountability Court — Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investments — in which they are accused of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets.

Prior to that, on July 6, the Accountability Court sentenced Nawaz, daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retired) Safdar to jail in the Avenfield properties reference. 

The defence counsel asked for more time to present a copy of the apex court's order for an extension in wrapping up the corruption references against Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar. 

The hearing was then adjourned till 12pm.

As the court resumed the hearing, the NAB prosecutor said that the Supreme Court's extension order was yet to be received. To this, the judge asked what the apex court's order entailed. Abbasi responded that a six-week extension had been granted to the anti-graft body to wrap up the corruption references. The judge remarked that it was yet to be seen what Supreme Court order said.    

Harris then requested the court to issue an order on the transfer request. Judge Bashir responded by saying that he did not have the mandate to transfer the reference after indictment. The defence then requested for the hearing to be adjourned till Tuesday so it could contact the relevant forum. 

The NAB prosecutor, however, argued that Judge Bashir should hear the case as he had indicted the accused and the hearing had been presided over by him. "It would be better if you [Judge Bashir] hear this reference," Abbasi remarked.  

The defence counsel contended that the verdict already announced by Judge Bashir was common with other references.

"We should see justice getting served too," said Nawaz's lawyer, adding that the matter had been raised in the Supreme Court to bring it to the apex court's attention. He further said that the defence had only informed the top court that it would take time for the case to be transferred. 

Remarking that only the high court held the mandate to transfer the case, Judge Bashir rejected the transfer petition. 

The hearing was then adjourned till July 17.