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Sunday Oct 07 2018

SC deadline to conclude corruption trial against Sharifs ends today

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court's deadline to conclude a corruption trial against the Sharif family ends today (Sunday). 

The accountability court hearing Al-Azizia Steel Mills case and Flagship Investment reference will seek another extension to conclude the trial, sources informed Geo News

On August 27, the Supreme Court had directed the accountability court to decide the Al Azizia and Flagship corruption references within six weeks.

So far, five extensions to wrap up the corruption references initiated by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) have been granted by the apex court. 

The Supreme Court had initially set a six-month deadline to conclude the four corruption references against the Sharif family. 

Accountability Court II Judge Arshad Malik is hearing both, Al Azizia reference and the Flagship Investment case. 

In the Al Azizia reference, statements of all witnesses have been recorded, while the cross-examination of the investigation officer is yet to conclude. 

The Flagship Investment reference is also under way. Both, Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia and the investigation officer, are yet to appear before the court to record their statements in the case. 

The trial

The trial against the Sharif family commenced on September 14, 2017.

On July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference.

Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were 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.