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

15 November 2017

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in Pakistan presented two prosecution witnesses against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members in an accountability court which formally began trial proceedings against them in corruption cases linked to the Panama Papers scandal. Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz filed an application seeking exemption from hearing to visit Begum Kulsoom Nawaz in London where the wife of former prime minister is undergoing treatment for cancer.

The second witness Federal Board of Revenue's (FBR) Jahangir Ahmad also appeared before the Court to record his statements.

The court has summoned four another witnesses to record their statement.

Nawaz Sharif has been exempted from appearance for seven days from November 20th while Maryam has been granted exemption for a month. He asked for one week exemption from November 20. He claimed that his pleader, Zafir Khan would ensure appearances on his behalf during his absence.

In her application, Maryam said that she will attend the hearing whenever the court will summon her.

She vented her anger on her official twitter account stating that Imran Khan's case was far more serious in terms of legal implications than Iqama joke and the nation was now waiting to see the decision in his case. The witness informed the judge that she appeared before the NAB Lahore team on August 18 and furnished all required documents regarding various business of Sharifs.

As trial proceedings began, Sidra Mansur, Deputy Registrar of Companies, SECP, recorded her statement in the Avenfield flats reference. The court had also rejected the petition.

Maryam had said that she would present herself in court whenever there is a hearing. He hoped that their struggle would lead to logical conclusion.

Despite the light rain in the capital, several workers and leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz were in and outside the court complex to welcome the party chief. She added that her legal representative, Jahangir Jadoon, will appear in the court in case she has to go overseas.

Rejecting the charges in the three references and pleading not guilty, as his representative had done earlier, Nawaz said in court that he was denied the right to a fair trial and his basic rights were not protected.

Nawaz, along with Maryam and Safdar had earlier reached Islamabad from Lahore.

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

NAB's Rawalpindi branch prepared two references regarding the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and the almost dozen companies owned by the Sharif family.

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