Nawaz Sharif’s plea for one week exemption from attendance accepted

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court (AC) of Islamabad Monday accepted the plea of former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif seeking change in his exemption period from court attendance in three references.

The court, however, dismissed an identical plea of Maryam Nawaz also seeking change in exemption period from attendance.

AC Judge Muhammad Bashir resumed hearing of the three references related to the Avenfield Property, Flagship Investment and Al-Azizia Steel Mills filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in compliance with the Supreme Court order in the Panama Papers case.

Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (Retd) Muhammad Safdar appeared before the court along with their legal teams amid foolproof security arrangements.

During the course of hearing, Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khwaja Harris requested the court to change the dates of his client’s exemption from appearance as he wanted to visit London to inquire after the health of his wife Kulsoom Nawaz , which was allowed by the court.

Nawaz Sharif is now exempted from appearing in the court from December 5-12.

Meanwhile, the court dismissed Maryam’s request to change her appearance exemption dates, stating that its earlier ruling on the matter would prevail.

The court previously had allowed exemption to Maryam from appearance from November 15 to December 15.

As the hearing began, Khwaja Harris requested the court to adjourn the hearing till the Islamabad High Court (IHC) announced its judgment in a plea regarding clubbing of the three references against Sharif family members. On which, the court announced a short break till 1pm.

After the announcement of IHC decision, the accountability court resumed the proceedings and recorded the statement of a NAB prosecution witness Malik Tayyab Ahmed, the employee of a private bank. The former prime minister and his daughter also again appeared before the court. The court, however, adjourned the hearing till December 5.

Meanwhile, the court declared former prime minister’s sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz as proclaimed offender for their continuous non-appearance. The court had earlier given them 30 days to appear before it and that time expired on November 9.

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