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Pakistan anti-graft court reserves verdict on Nawaz Sharif’s petition

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Pakistan’s main anti-graft watchdog, has opposed the clubbing of the three corruption cases against the Sharif family.

world Updated: Nov 07, 2017 18:49 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Nawaz Sharif,accountability court,corruption cases
Activists shout slogans as the vehicle carrying ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif leaves after he appeared in an accountability court in Islamabad on November 7, 2017. Sharif, the 15th premier in Pakistan's 70-year history to be ousted before completing a full term, is facing corruption charges. (AFP)

A Pakistani anti-corruption court on Tuesday reserved for a day its judgement on a petition to club together several graft cases filed against the family of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The prosecutor for the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), the main anti-graft watchdog, had opposed the clubbing of the three cases against the Sharifs on the grounds that the trial cannot be combined into a single case on the basis of an application from just one of the accused.

Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Mohammad Safdar appeared in the accountability court in the capital on Tuesday morning for a hearing in connection with the cases filed against them by the NAB.

The Islamabad high court recently accepted Sharif’s plea regarding the clubbing of the three cases against his family.

Sharif left the accountability court after his counsel, Khawaja Haris, completed his arguments before the bench hearing the cases filed against him. The court later took up the cases against Maryam and her husband.

Sharif and his family face three corruption cases filed against them by the NAB on the orders of the apex court, which disqualified the PML-N chief in its July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.

Haris argued that the defence in all the three cases is the same and there should be one case and one trial. He further said that even the witnesses in all the cases were the same.

According to Haris, there should be a single trial for this matter as all the properties in question belong to the Sharif family, and not just one person.

“Allegations in the references are not clear. They do not constitute any clear offence. The Joint Investigation Team report didn’t mention what role the accused had played,” said Haris.

Local media reported that ahead of Sharif’s appearance at the accountability court, a meeting of top PML-N discussed the party's strategy for handling the cases.

First Published: Nov 07, 2017 18:49 IST