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Al-Azizia reference: Court adjourns hearing till Tuesday

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Monday hearing corruption references against former premier Nawaz Sharif including Al-Azizia Mills and Flagship Investment, adjourned hearing till Tuesday (tomorrow).

The incarcerated Nawaz Sharif was transported from Adiala prison to the court premises in the federal capital amid tight security.

As the hearing went under way, Khawaja Haris’ assisting lawyer apprised the court that Nawaz’s lawyer was busy in the Islamabad High Court, where a petition is fixed for hearing in the division bench today.

Accountability court II Judge Arshad Malik, who was hearing the case, inquired about the commencement time of the IHC hearing. To this, the assisting lawyer responded by saying that the division bench starts hearing cases at 11am.

The Islamabad High Court issued a notice to the National Accountability Bureau for an alteration in the statement of star prosecution witness Wajid Zia, who also headed the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed the Panama Papers case.

A two-member bench of the IHC, comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, resumed hearing Nawaz’s petition.

During the hearing, Nawaz’s lawyer Khawaja Haris contended that the report was not presented by the former premier or his son Hussain.

The judge then ruled to hear the statement of the anti-graft body. Issuing a notice to the NAB officials to appear before the court on September 4, Justice Minallah adjourned the hearing.

Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.

The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.

On July 10, the Supreme Court granted another six-week extension for Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the remaining corruption references against Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

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