Hearing of NAB references against former PM Nawaz, family adjourns till Wednesday

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's sons Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's sons Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz

The accountability court hearing three corruption cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family will announce shortly its decision on Nawaz and his daughter's request to be exempted from personal appearance.

The minister said there was no allegation or prove of corruption against Nawaz Sharif. The high court had then fixed November 20 as the next date for the next hearing.

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz group) has already said that Hassan and Hussain, who are British nationals, will not appear before the court as Pakistan's laws do not apply on them.

His daughter Maryam Nawaz and Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar also reached NAB Court to attend hearing for the eighth time.

Judge of the Accountability Court Islamabad Muhammad Bashir heard the case.

Maryam also submitted an exemption request, stating her pleader Jahangir Jadoon will appear on her behalf.

During the proceedings, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan's (SECP) Joint Registrar Sidra Mansoor recorded her statement as the first witness in the Avenfield flats reference.

In her statement, Mansoor revealed that the Hudaibiya Paper Mills audit reports consistently showed Rs494,6000 in the company's accounts for five years between 2000 to 2005.

The counsels of Nawaz and his children, Khawaja Harris and Amjad Pervez, objected that the witness provided photocopies of documents which do not bear official seals and signatures of companies.

Responding to a journalist's question inside the court about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan's bail approval by the anti-terrorism court (ATC) yesterday, Nawaz said, "the courts have double standards". The court had also rejected the petition. The court on October 9 separated the trial of Hassan and Hussain and also ordered to initiate the process of declaring them proclaimed offenders.

In his plea, Sharif's lawyer had argued that the Supreme Court's July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case had not asked the NAB to file the references separately.

It was the 12th hearing of Avenfield properties and Azizia Steel Mills references and 13th hearing of the Flagship Investment reference.

Earlier a bench of the IHC granted Sharif's request with regard to clubbing together the three corruption references filed against him, and revoked the accountability court's Oct 19 verdict, directing it to reconsider the request.

The petition said the accountability court's order was based on a gross misreading of the "facts" on which it was purportedly based.

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