ISLAMABAD: The accountability court hearing the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) corruption references against former premier Nawaz Sharif and his family observed today that it would give a verdict on all three cases together.
The observation came as the court resumed hearing the Avenfield properties reference after the last prosecution witness concluded his testimony yesterday.
Nawaz, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar had been granted exemption from appearing in court today.
As the hearing went under way, the prosecution asked for a short recess as NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi was not present in court since he was consulting the prosecutor general on their stance.
When the hearing resumed, the prosecution pleaded the court to record the statements of the accused but the defence counsel opposed the plea.
Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris argued that the statements of Wajid Zia, who headed the Panama case joint investigation team, should be recorded in the other two references.
Haris pleaded the court to accept his request, saying will the judge do what NAB says only.
The court agreed with the arguments and rejected the prosecution’s plea.
During the hearing, Haris stated that the Supreme Court should give three more months for the completion of trial.
Maryam’s counsel also chipped in, arguing that the basis of a transparent trial is that both sides be given equal time to present their case, explaining that the prosecution spent eight months on 18 witnesses.
The judge responded that it is up to the apex court to decide the timeframe of the next deadline.
Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir then remarked that the decisions on all three references against the accused will be given together.—INP