ISLAMABAD: Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir will shortly resume hearing the Al Azizia and Flagship corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Nawaz’s counsel, Khawaja Haris, has appeared in court for the hearing.
At the last hearing on Tuesday (yesterday), Haris was due to cross-examine prosecution witness Wajid Zia, however, the primary defence counsel failed to appear in court.
As the hearing went under way, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor Afzal Qureshi appeared in court. He apprised the court that the Sharif family’s appeal has been fixed for hearing in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for later that day.
Judge Bashir then decided to postpone the hearing till the IHC’s ruling on the appeal.
Later, when the IHC took up Nawaz’s appeals, the court issued notices to the NAB and adjourned the matter until the last week of July.
The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017 after NAB filed the Avenfield, Al Azizia and Flagship references.
On July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference.
Nawaz was sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion) while Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million). Moreover, Maryam’s husband, Capt (retd) Safdar, was sentenced to one year in prison.
Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.
The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.