ISLAMABAD - In an interesting development, Muhammad Bashir – the judge who recently sentenced the Sharif family members in London properties case – has asked the IHC chief justice for separating him from the two other corruption references against Nawaz Sharif.

The Islamabad Accountability Court judge had sentenced former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and his son-in-law Captain (r) Muhammad Safdar in the Avenfield reference around two weeks ago.

Local TV channels quoted unnamed sources as saying on Monday that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has received a letter from the judge in which he has asked for separating him from the hearings of Al-Azizia and Flagship references against the former PM. In the letter, he asked the IHC chief justice to shift the two references to other court or transfer him to other court as he had already announced the verdict in Avenfield case.

The counsel of Nawaz Sharif “had also raised objection on me”, the judge said in the letter, which he reportedly wrote two days ago to IHC Chief Justice Anwar Kasi – who is on leave these days.

Last week Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris had urged the NAB court judge to recuse himself from proceedings in the Flagship and Al-Azizia references.

Haris said that since the same judge had already convicted the former PM and his daughter Maryam Nawaz, so he should recuse himself from the other pending cases against the Sharif family.

The counsel maintained that the evidence in all three references was the same and since the judge had already disclosed his opinion on the evidence, it would be inappropriate for him to hear the other two references.

The defence lawyer suggested that the matter should be referred to the Islamabad High Court chief justice to which Judge Bashir responded that he would but he would also write a letter to the Supreme Court pertaining to the matter.