ISLAMABAD (web desk) – Accountability court on Wednesday (8 Nov 2017) has rejected ex-prime minister Nawaz Sahrif’s plea seeking merger of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Avenfield properties, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investments references against him.
During the hearing headed by Justice Mohammad Bashir, the reserved verdict was announced, stating that all three references cannot be separated due to their different nature and money trails. The number of witnesses in the references also varies, it further stated.
Nawaz Sharif was called on rostrum after which his indictment was read out. However, Nawaz denied all the charges.
Nawaz Sharif said the proceeding was initiated on political basis, adding that the fundamental rights are being violated. Will defend myself during trial, he continued.
Subsequently, the court has summoned witnesses and adjourned the hearing till November 15.
In yesterday’s hearing, Sharif family counsel Khawaja Harris argued that all three cases are of same defence and their witnesses are also same, therefore, it was requested to club them. The plea was abruptly opposed by NAB prosecutor after which the hearing was adjourned and former PM was allowed to leave the court.
The Supreme Court disqualified Sharif from office in July over unreported sources of annual income of about $10,000, a salary the former premier denies ever receiving. The high court also ordered the NAB to investigate and conduct a trial into the Sharif family’s wider finances, including the London properties.
Sharif maintains control of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, which elected close ally Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as prime minister after Sharif was disqualified.