Judge Who Sentenced Nawaz Sharif Recuses From Hearing Other 2 Graft Cases

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 18, 2018

As the hearing went under way, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor Afzal Qureshi appeared in court.

Moreover, an additional appeal was also filed requesting the court to transfer the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references against Nawaz from the court of Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir to another Accountability Court.

Nawaz's lawyer Khawaja Harris, starting his arguments, stated that the accountability judge has already given his verdict in one reference and can not hear the remaining two references.

Sharif's counsel Khawaja Haris filed a plea challenging the verdict of the Avenfield case and called for its suspension till the Islamabad High Court adjudication in the case. Maryam's appeal was drafted on Saturday, however, her legal counsels who were in Adiala Jail to get the power of attorney signed by their client were unable to file the petition before the court hours ended.

After hearing arguments, the IHC bench ordered NAB to submit its response at the next hearing.

Judge Bashir heard the first corruption reference, pertaining to the Avenfield flats, against the Sharif family. Maryam's legal counsel Amjad Pervaiz stated that the accountability court's verdict in the Avenfield case was not in compliance with the law.

The cabinet will take up a number of important matters, including the one with regard to trial of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and members of his family in the two pending cases against them. Sources further said the letter was written to the IHC Chief Justice Anwar Kasi two days ago, who is on leave.

The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) intends to meet former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in Rawalpindi's Adiala jail as an observer to have first-hand knowledge about the conditions he is living in.

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

Prior to this, the Accountability Court had sentenced Nawaz to a total of 11 years in prison and imposed a fine of £8 million (Rs1.3 billion) in the corruption reference meanwhile his daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years in prison along with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million).

The appeal highlighted the legal flaws in the Avenfield verdict and pleaded to nullify the Accountability Court's verdict.

The sentence and a fine of 8 million pounds, or $10.6 million, came nearly a year after Supreme Court removed Sharif from office and less than five months after the court barred him from holding office for life. Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three corruption cases whereas Maryam and Safdar are accused in the Avenfield case only.

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