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Pakistan accountability court adjourns corruption hearing against ousted PM Nawaz Sharif

Islamabad: Pakistan's accountability court adjourned the hearing on three corruption references against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, after his lawyer informed that the high court was to give its verdict on a plea of clubbing of graft cases on Monday.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had registered cases against Sharif and his family in the Islamabad Accountability Court in September, following a Supreme Court verdict.

 Pakistan accountability court adjourns corruption hearing against ousted PM Nawaz Sharif

File image of Nawaz Sharif. AFP

Sharif, along with his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar, appeared before the accountability court on Monday, amid tight security. His lawyer Khawaja Harris requested Judge Mohammad Bashir to suspend proceedings and wait for the Islamabad High Court's (IHC) decision on a petition by Sharif to club his three graft cases into one, as all were related to his alleged making of assets beyond the known sources of means.

The IHC had completed the hearing and reserved its judgement on 23 November. The court announced that it will give its verdict on Monday. The accountability court, after hearing the argument from the NAB prosecutor, postponed the hearing till 1 pm and allowed Sharif to go home but ordered him to remain present when the hearing begins again.

The court had on 8 November rejected a plea by Sharif to club his cases following which he challenged the decision in the Islamabad High Court.

The three references against the Sharif family are related to the Al-Azizia Company and Hill Metal Establishment, Flagship Investment Ltd and the Avenfield (London) properties. Sharif and his sons, Hassan and Hussain, have been named in all three NAB references, while Maryam and her husband Safdar named only in the Avenfield reference.

On 23 November, Maryam requested exemption from personal appearance between 5 December, 2017, and 5 January, 2018, while Sharif sought exemption between 5 December and 12 December. The court is expected to give its decision on the two pleas on Monday.

Last month, Sharif was indicted in all three cases while his daughter Maryam and her husband Muhammad Safdar, co-accused with Sharif in only one case, were also indicted along with Sharif.

Sharif's sons Hassan and Hussian have failed to appear in the court despite repeated summons, which prompted it to separate their case.

Ahead of the verdict, hundreds of security personnel have been deployed around the court premises to deal with any situation.

The cases are based on the 28 July verdict by the Supreme Court, which disqualified Sharif and ordered to launch three corruption cases against him and his family, and one case against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

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Updated Date: Dec 04, 2017 12:05:12 IST

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