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Sharif family refuses to show up in Ahtasab court


News Desk |

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz being held accountable under the Avenfield Properties case, have decided not to come back to Pakistan on 6th July for their hearing hoping the reserved judgement will be postponed.

The court awarded punishment of disqualification, prison and imposing fine on Benazir Bhutto in her nonappearance, so this shows precedent that the court is not bound to wait for the accused persons.

Sources state that a meeting was conducted in London, under the Chairmanship of ex Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in which Maryam Nawaz also participated. In this meeting it was decided that they would not be making an appearance before the accountability court.

In a prior hearing of the same case, Wajid Zia’s cross-examination took place.

Read more: APC in Lahore: What will it achieve against the Sharif Family?

While heading the Panama case joint investigation team (JIT), Wajid Zia investigated the assets of Sharif family, in 2017. As of now the previous hearing went under way when the court approved the exemption request of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz.

Everyone is well aware of their reason of not appearing in the court for trial, they claim the reason to be the deteriorating health of Kulsum Nawaz, wife and mother. In the last hearing they didn’t appear due to unpleasant weather conditions, therefore couldn’t depart from Lahore.

Making up for the absence of father daughter duo, son-in-law, MNA, Capt (retd) Safdar graced the court with his presence.

Nawaz Sharif and 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.

During the cross examination, Zia informed the court that they didn’t include the Arena company into their investigation. And he also mentioned that this wasn’t the case of wrong intentions, that the company’s name hadn’t been mentioned.

As of now the previous hearing went under way when the court approved the exemption request of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz.

He also said that, the JIT did not investigate who the owner of the London flats was before Nielsen and Nescoll offshore company. He highlighted that the purpose behind this purchase was to conceal the real identity of the buyer. Former JIT head described Maryam’s link to the offshore account companies through the BVI official’s letters, the letters of FIA and Mossack Fonseca. Up until this part of the case the hearing was adjourned.

Various sources stated that the legal advisors of Sharif family suggested that it would be difficult on the part of the court to deliver any verdict in their absence. This would make it possible for the court to give the Sharif family more time before the final legal decision was to be announced, as the legality of the requirements had to be fulfilled.

Read more: More PML-N lawmakers leaving the party piles the pressure on Sharif…

They came to a conclusion that on Friday 6th July, the lawyers of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam would request the court for some more time.

However, some senior lawyers believed that the court has the judicial authority to declare its verdict even in the absence of the accused. This was pragmatic as its been exercised before, during Benazir Bhutto’s case. The court awarded punishment of disqualification, prison and imposing fine on Benazir Bhutto in her nonappearance, so this shows precedent that the court is not bound to wait for the accused persons.

If court would award punishment to Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, then their lawyers would immediately challenge it in the High Court and the trial of the case would begin right from the beginning.

Speculations suggest that, taking into consideration absence of Nawaz Sharif and daughter, Maryam Nawaz, the court will once again defer the judgement.

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