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Tuesday Oct 09 2018

Accountability court seeks extension in SC deadline to conclude trial against Sharifs


ISLAMABAD: The accountability court hearing Al-Azizia Steel Mills case and Flagship Investment reference has sought another extension to conclude the trial, sources informed Geo News on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court's deadline to conclude a corruption trial against the Sharif family ended on October 7.

Judge Arshad Malik of Accountability Court II wrote a letter to the apex court to request an extension, sources said. He also apprised the Supreme Court of the progress in the two corruption references against the Sharif family, sources further said.  

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.

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.