Nawaz, Maryam, Safdar’s indictment deferred till Oct 19 as PML-N lawyers create chaos

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court in Islamabad on Friday adjourned the hearing of graft cases against the Sharif family till October 19.

The decision came shortly after deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar appeared in court for hearing of the graft cases.

However, chaos ensued as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawyers and supporters tried to enter the courtroom forcing the judge to adjourn the hearing.

As judge Muhammad Bashir entered the courtroom a number of lawyers forced their way into the court. The lawyers reportedly surrounded the judges’ bench claiming that they were manhandled by security forces outside the court and kept from entering the courtroom.

According to the lawyers, the law enforcers manhandled them even when they showed them orders of Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb of the Islamabad High Court (IHC). The court was interrupted by loud cries from the lawyers who were demanding quick action against the police and other security officials deployed in and around the Federal Judicial Complex.

Maryam and Safdar were present in the courtroom when the protesting lawyers barged into the courtroom and turned it into a fish market. When the lawyers did not calm down repeated calls from the judge to bring order in the courtroom, Justice Bashir went into his chamber and ordered the Inspector General of Police to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report before the court.

Subsequently, the court adjourned the case till Oct 19 when it will resume hearing to indict the deposed PM, his daughter and son in-law.

Some lawyers also scuffled with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s prosecution team which was there to argue the Avenfields Apartment reference. The law enforcers also accused the lawyers of manhandling them.

The accountability court is trying the Sharif family in corruption references filed against them by the country’s top graft-buster on the Supreme Court’s instructions.

Talking to reporters after a hearing on Monday, Maryam said that her brothers Hassan and Hussain Nawaz would make their own decision regarding their appearance before the court. However, she added that since both of them reside abroad, therefore, local laws did not apply to them.

Hussain and Hassan have not appeared before the court on any hearing since the trial began last month. Despite issuing non-bailable arrest warrants against the duo during the last hearing, the brothers did not appear for the hearing on Monday.