Wednesday, December 19, 2018
By |

Court to announce verdicts in corruption references against Nawaz on Monday

The accountability court reserved its decision in Flagship, Al-Azizia references earlier today

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Wednesday reserved verdicts in the remaining two corruption references against former premier Nawaz Sharif.

The court will announce its verdicts in Flagship Investment and Al-Azizia references against the Sharif family on Monday, December 24.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had concluded its final arguments in the Flagship reference against Nawaz on Tuesday – the third and last reference against the PML-N leader. The anti-corruption watchdog had wrapped up its arguments in the Al-Azizia reference earlier this month.

Accountability Court II Judge Arshad Malik in his remarks said that the court rejected Nawaz's request for more time in the case, as NAB had expressed reservation that granting more time could delay the cases. 

The judge told the parties that any additional documents may be submitted in the court by Friday, December 21. 

Nawaz told the court that he hopes for justice and that no corruption could be proved against him. Thanking the party members and leaders for coming to the court with him, the former premier noted that it was his 78th court appearance in the case. 

Recounting his government's achievements, Nawaz said he served the public for 35 years - twice as chief minister and thrice as prime minister. 

"I never misused my powers. I served the nation and the public with true dedication," he said. 

"[We] eliminated terrorism, inflation from the country, revived the economy, made Pakistan a nuclear power."

Nawaz lamented that the cases were based on mere "speculation and rumours". "Is this [what I deserve] for serving this country?" he questioned. 

On December 7, the Supreme Court had directed the accountability court to conclude the cases by December 24, after previously granting it seven extensions to wrap up the references initiated by NAB.

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 accountability court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference. Nawaz, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar were sentenced to 11 years, eight years and one year, respectively, in prison.

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.