ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Wednesday resumed its proceedings against ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and his son in-law Captain (retd) Safdar in graft references filled by National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Aaj News reported.
Earlier, the ousted premier and his daughter requested that they be exempted from appearing in court the week after November 20 to attend his ailing wife.
The court accepted both pleas and granted exemption to Sharif till Nov 27 while his daughter was allowed 1 month exemption.
Former PM, who reached Islamabad earlier from Lahore arrived at accountability court along with Maryam and Capt (retd) Safdar amid tight security.
As the trail commenced, Securities and Exchange Commission Pakistan (SECP) officer Sidra Mansoor and Federal Bureau Revenue’s Jahangir Ahmad were presented before the court to record their statements.
Khawaja Haris, Counsel of former Prime Minister cross examined both prosecution witnesseses. Four witnesses have been summoned for the next hearing.
Sharif and his family are facing graft filled by NAB in the wake of Supreme Court’s 28th April verdict on Panama Papers case.
The court is also expected to declare Sharif’s son Hussain and Hassan as proclaimed offenders as they have constantly failed to appear before the court.
In earlier hearing court rejected deposed PM Sharif’s plea to to merge his 3 graft trials merged into one.
The decision by Judge Mohammad Bashir is likely to drag out the trial of Sharif, as well as his daughter and her husband, both co-defendants in the cases stemming from documents leaked from a Panama law firm.
Nawaz and his two sons, Hussain and Hasan are nominated in all three references while his daughter Maryam and her husband are only named in one.
In an informal chat with media persons outside the court, the former Prime Minister said there should be no double standards in dispensation of justice. He hoped that their struggle would lead to logical conclusion.
To a question, he hoped the trial would be fair.
Talking to media persons, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said that despite reservations, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is appearing before the courts.
She said no allegation of corruption has been proven against Nawaz Sharif.
The allegations against the family stem from the Panama Papers leaks in 2016 that appeared to show that Maryam and her two brothers owned offshore holding companies registered in the British Virgin Islands and used them to buy upscale flats in London.
A Supreme Court-appointed investigatory panel deemed that the family’s wealth did not match its income, and accused Maryam and her brothers of signing forged documents to obscure ownership of offshore companies used to buy the London flats.
The panel’s report was the basis for the Supreme Court ruling disqualifying Sharif and ordering the NAB investigation and a trial.
The high court ordered the trial to be concluded within six months, which would likely bring a verdict before general elections due next year.