A Pakistani court on Thursday adjourned till October seven the hearing of an application seeking reopening of the trial of corruption cases against former Premier Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shahbaz and other members of their family.
A judge of a special court in Rawalpindi, which took up the application for reopening the cases adjourned the matter till Oct 7 and said he will not proceed with the matter as many judges of anti-corruption courts are currently on leave.
A move by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to reopen trial of the eight-year old cases had sparked a war of words between the ruling PPP and its former ally PML-N.
The move by the NAB, which is under the law ministry, to reopen the cases came just nine days after Sharif pulled the PML-N out of the PPP-led ruling coalition. The cases were indefinitely adjourned on technical grounds by an anti-corruption court last month.
PML-N leaders said the move by the NAB appeared to be aimed at using anti-corruption courts against Sharif. PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal, a close aide of Sharif, said pursuing the cases smacked of "political bankruptcy".
However, distancing the PPP from the move, Law Minister Farooq Naek said the cases against the Sharif brothers were initiated during Musharraf's rule.
Naek said the cases were not new and had been pending for a "very long" time. "When the cases are pending for long, prosecutors have the right to move an application," he said.