ISLAMABAD: The accountability court hearing corruption cases against members of the Sharif family expressed displeasure on Monday after deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif failed to appear before the court in the Flagship reference hearing.
Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik warned to cancel Nawaz’s surety bond and issue arrest warrants if the former premier failed to appear before the bench.
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Judge Malik was further irked when defence counsel Khawaja Haris requested, through his associate Munawwar Iqbal Duggal, for a two-day adjournment of Flagship, Al Aziziya and Hill Metal Establishment reference hearings, owing to health issues.
When the judge inquired about Nawaz’s absence, Duggal asserted that the accused was supposed to appear and sought time to probe the matter.
Upon his return, Duggal said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo did not appear owing to “genuine confusion”. The defence counsel added that Nawaz, however, was willing to immediately leave Lahore if the court allowed two to three hours to travel to Islamabad.
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Judge Malik chided defence counsel and the accused of wasting the court and witness’ time but accepted their assurance regarding Nawaz’s appearance for the future hearings.
Referring to Haris’s adjournment appeal, the court noted that the request could only be accepted as far as Flagship reference was concerned and adjourned the hearing until October 4.—INP