AC takes up references against Sharifs today

ISLAMABAD  –  Accountability Court Islamabad will take up corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Capt (retd) Safdar and former finance minister Ishaq Dar on Monday (today).

The counsel of former premier Nawaz Sharif would seek stay in the proceedings in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) court as a fresh application was moved by defence in Supreme Court of Pakistan against the decision of the chief justice of Pakistan who had decided against clubbing of three references, and directed the petitioner to move appropriate forum.

Similarly, former finance minister Ishaq Dar had filed a writ petition seeking the Islamabad High Court (IHC) stay on the process of declaring him proclaimed offender by the trial court, and would seek court direction to trial court to hear his case through his representative as due to severe heart ailment he would not be in a position to travel back and face the trial in the Accountability Court Islamabad.

Accountability Court Islamabad is all set to declare Ishaq Dar proclaimed offender in the assets beyond means corruption reference as the deadline of 10 days granted to him expired on November 30th.

The court had also issued notice to Ishaq Dar’s guarantor Ahmad Ali Qadoosi for forfeiture of his surety bond of Rs5 million as he had failed to ensure the presence of the accused during the trial.

The guarantor of Ishaq Dar on previous date of hearing had sought three weeks time as according to him Ishaq Dar was barred by his doctors to travel but would be able to return back after his treatment.

The court would likely decide on applications of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz Sharif seeking rescheduling of exemption granted to them by the court from December 5 onwards.

Previously, the court had granted exemption from personal appearance in the case of Maryam Nawaz Sharif for one month while his father Nawaz Sharif for three weeks but later both of them decided to stay back and appeared before the court for couple of hearings.

Both have moved fresh application seeking rescheduling of the exemption from December 5 to January 5 so that they could proceed abroad to see ailing Begum Kalsoom Nawaz undergoing cancer treatment in a hospital in London.

Meanwhile, the Islamabad High Court would likely announce verdict on the petition filed by Nawaz Sharif seeking clubbing of all the three references against him.

Nawaz Sharif had taken the plea that all the three corruption references — Avenfield properties, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment Company— are identical in nature and the witnesses in all the three cases are more or less the same, so all the three cases should be clubbed together and not treated as separate.

But previously the Accountability Court Islamabad had rejected the plea of Nawaz Sharif. Later the single bench of IHC upheld the trial court decision on treating the cases separately.

Nawaz Sharif then filed intra-court appeal in the IHC and a two-member bench would likely announce verdict on it today (Monday).

In between this period Nawaz Sharif had invoked Article 184(3) of the Constitution and sought apex court intervention on it but after going through the procedure the chief justice of Pakistan after hearing the matter in his chamber directed them to approach the appropriate forum.



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