Waqas Shabbir |
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared today before the accountability court in connection with the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment corruption references against him. Nawaz is currently incarcerated in Adiala jail. He appeared for the first time in the accountability court after been jailed in the Avenfield reference case on July 06 by the accountability court Judge Mohammad Bashir.
The media was not allowed to enter the judicial complex where Judge Arshad Malik started hearing the cases on Thursday. Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris did not appear in the court citing his engagements regarding the preparations of the petition to be submitted in IHC against the sentencing of Nawaz and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.
Imran turned the table on its head. Today’s Nawaz’s entrance in the accountability court as a convicted criminal and Imran’s entry into the parliament as the PM-in-waiting reflect that how fortunes can take the tumble
In his absence, another lawyer Zafir Khan appeared in the court and submitted an application, to record Prosecution’s star witness Wajid Zia’s record in the Flagship reference. However, on the opposition of prosecution-which opposed the plea in order to first complete the cross-examination in the Al-Azizia reference first- Judge declined the request and adjourned the court proceedings until August 15.
Earlier, on August 07, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) transferred two pending references against Nawaz from the court of Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir to another accountability court Judge Arshad Malik. On July 16, Nawaz’s counsel had filed an appeal in the IHC to transfer the Al-Azizia and Flagship references to another accountability court.
Read more: Nawaz Sharif: Delusions of Grandeur
Khawaja argued that since the arguments in a couple of remaining two references were similar to Avenfield case, therefore, they should be transferred to another court. Coupled with this, Judge Bashir had decided to recuse himself from hearing the Al-Azizia and Flagship references. After mulling over the issue, on August 07, IHC transferred the remaining references to the court of Judge Arshad Malik.
At 11 am, Nawaz left the accountability court to return to barracks. The court adjourned the next hearing until Wednesday. On a historic day, when lawmakers took the oath for the third consecutive democratic government, in a remarkable turn of fortunes, Nawaz-a three-time Pakistan PM appeared before the accountability court in an armored vehicle.
The chances of another unfavorable verdict are high, because, political pundits and legal experts believe that the case of the prosecution in remaining two references is even stronger
It’s ironic and apparently, a psychological blow to Nawaz that only a few miles away, Imran and his PTI legislators have sworn-in as the member parliament and (irrelevant) Nawaz was being transported from Adiala to Accountability Court. Similarly, many other high profile figures including, Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman, Asfand Yar Wali, Mehmood Achakzai, and Khawaja Saad Rafique also missed out after losing their respective seats.
Imran turned the table on its head. Today’s Nawaz’s entrance in the accountability court as a convicted criminal and Imran’s entry into the parliament as the PM-in-waiting reflect that how fortunes can take the tumble. It is noteworthy that how the former premier, who was used to long protocol vehicles, came to attend the hearing on an armored vehicle.
In the past, Nawaz had arrogantly underestimated Imran’s charge for the premiership and did not take his quest for the power seriously until he got caught himself in the Panama Papers scandal. The chances of another unfavorable verdict are high, because, political pundits and legal experts believe that the case of the prosecution in remaining two references is even stronger. Previously, Nawaz had failed to present credible proofs to prove his innocence and sources of his mammoth wealth, stashed abroad are still unknown.