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Sharif, Maryam, Safdar appear before accountability court for trial proceedings

15 November 2017

The accountability court resumed on Wednesday hearing against the deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and Captain (retd) Safdar, regarding three corruption cases filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Moreover, Hussain and Hasan Nawaz were also declared proclaimed offenders due to continuous no-show at the court proceedings.

Nawaz Sharif has challenged the verdict of accountability court regarding clubbing all three references into one in Islamabad High Court (IHC) today.

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz filed an application seeking exemption from hearing to visit Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in London where the wife of former prime minister is undergoing treatment for cancer.

Sharif's counsel sought a joint trial, arguing that the main allegation in all three corruption references was the same - that the assets under the names of Hussain and Hassan Nawaz were actually owned by Nawaz Sharif.

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Maryam and Safdar had been indicted along with Sharif in a reference regarding the London properties on October 19.

The hearing was then adjourned until November 22, when four more prosecution witnesses have been summoned. The court had also rejected the petition.

Whereas, Sharif and his two sons - Hassan and Hussain - have been nominated in three references related to the London flats, Al-Aziza Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment.

Responding to a journalist's question inside the court about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan's bail approval by the anti-terrorism court (ATC) yesterday, Nawaz said, "the courts have double standards".

Earlier to the media outside the Federal Judicial Complex, the Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said Joint Investigation Team's (JIT) volume 10 was still under process.

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At the previous hearing, the judge formally framed charges against Nawaz Sharif in his presence in all the three references separately and got his signs on the copies of the indictment orders.

Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir is expected to rule on both these applications within a day.

Today, Judge Mohammad Bashir will hold 12th hearing of Avenfield Properties and Alazizia Steel Mill, and 13 hearing of Flagship Investment reference. At an earlier hearing, the court also approved Maryam and Safdar's bail in the Avenfiled properties case and ordered them to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.

This is the second time Sharif approached the IHC seeking directives for the trial court to conduct a join trial of all the three references.

If convicted, the accused may face up to 14 years imprisonment and lifelong disqualification from holding public office including the freezing of bank accounts and assets.

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Sharif, Maryam, Safdar appear before accountability court for trial proceedings