Accountability Court hearing Nawaz Sharif & family

The accountability court hearing the Avenfield properties reference against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family resumed the proceedings on Monday.

Nawaz and his family are facing three corruption cases in the accountability court after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed references against them in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case last year.

As the hearing went under way, the defence counsel for Nawaz’s daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (Retd) Safdar, Amjad Pervez, resumed presenting final arguments in the case.

During the hearing, the defence counsel will submit another exemption request on behalf of Nawaz and Maryam as the two are in London tending to Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.

The counsel will also submit an updated medical report of Nawaz’s wife detailing reasons for the former premier’s delay in returning to the country.

Previously, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris had presented final arguments in the case. The court has also summoned Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director Wajid Zia, who headed the Panama case joint investigation team, on July 3 for the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference.

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

The corruption references, filed against the Sharifs, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Limited, and Avenfield properties of London.

Nawaz and his 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.

The court originally had a deadline of six months which ended in mid-March but was extended for two months after the judge requested the apex court.

Later, the deadline was extended twice more, with the new date falling somewhere around July 10 now.

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