Sunday Jun 10, 2018
LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar directed on Sunday the accountability court to announce decision on all three corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family within a month.
A two-member bench headed by the chief justice was hearing the petition seeking further extension for the conclusion of trails against Nawaz and his family with regard to corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) after apex court’s verdict in Panama Papers case.
During the hearing, the chief justice rejected Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris’ petition for completing the trial in six weeks, observing that final verdict against the former premier, his sons, daughter, and son-in-law should be announced within a month.
However, the top judge remarked, Nawaz along with his daughter could go to see his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
The chief justice granted permission to Nawaz to visit his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in London.
Nawaz has requested for exemption from court appearances time and again, often citing the reason to be visits to meet his wife.
Kulsoom Nawaz is undergoing treatment for throat cancer for which she was admitted to a hospital in London in September 2017. She underwent a surgery wherein doctors removed the cancerous tumours in her throat.
However, it was said that even after chemotherapy sessions the cancer returned and was spreading to other parts of her body for which she was being treated.
The SC in July 28, 2017, Panamagate verdict, while disqualifying Nawaz Sharif from the post of prime minister, had originally set a deadline of six months which ended in mid-March but was extended for two months after the judge requested the apex court.
Earlier, the trial court had submitted the second plea for a deadline extension, which was approved by the Supreme Court ordering both sides to finish the corruption cases by June 9.
On June 4, Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir while hearing the Al-Azizia reference had remarked that he would write a letter to the Supreme Court requesting another extension to wrap up corruption references against the Sharif family.
The corruption references, filed against the Sharifs, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.
Nawaz and sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference only.
The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court. Their trial in the high-profile corruption case has been separated from other family members' owing to their continued absence.