Pak court rejects Sharif’s plea to merge three graft cases

This means the former prime minister will have to stand trial, possibly for months, in three separate cases in the accountability court.

world Updated: Nov 08, 2017 17:49 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Nawaz Sharif,Panama Papers,accountability court
No way out: Ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif waves to supporters as he leaves an accountability court after a personal appearance to face corruption charges in Islamabad on Wednesday.(AFP )

A Pakistani court on Wednesday rejected former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plea to merge hearing of three graft cases against him and family members.

This means he will have to stand trial, possibly for months, in three separate cases in the accountability court.

Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law captain (retd) Mohammad Safdar appeared before the court in Islamabad on Wednesday as the hearing resumed into the references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) under the directives of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case verdict.

The court had on Tuesday reserved its ruling after hearing arguments from both the defence counsel and the NAB prosecution.

NAB had filed three references on September 8 against Sharif and his family, and another reference against finance minister Ishaq Dar. The three references against the Sharif family are related to the Flagship Investment Ltd, the Avenfield (London) properties and Jeddah-based Al-Azizia Company and Hill Metal Establishment.

During the course of arguments, special prosecutor Wasiq Malik opposed Sharif’s application for clubbing together the three references and said NAB, under the mutual legal assistance agreements, was seeking key evidence from other countries on the basis of which the number of accused persons might increase in each of the three references.

The former premier and his sons, Hassan and Hussain, have been named in all three NAB references, while Maryam and husband Safdar have been named only in the Avenfield reference.

First Published: Nov 08, 2017 17:11 IST