IHC dismisses Nawaz’s petition to club judgment in corruption trial

June 22, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday dismissed a petition filed by deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif praying upon the court to club the verdict in all three corruption references registered against the Sharif family by the country’s accountability body.

Justice Aamer Farooq read out the judgment which stated that the plea for a joint judgment has been deemed not maintainable, further adding that since the final arguments in the Avenfield reference have begun, the case can no longer be halted to accommodate the other two references. Hence, the trial will proceed as scheduled. The petition was filed against a June 5 order of the accountability court stating that all three references cannot be clubbed due to technicalities.

Haris had submitted the petition on Nawaz’s behalf. On June 8, Nawaz argued that there is no basis to pass simultaneous verdicts in the three references, as he challenged the accountability court order in the IHC. Haris asserted that instead of quick disposal, delaying all three references was the option left to the accountability court judge.

Subsequently, the accountability court dismissed Sharif’s request to postpone final arguments until evidence was recorded in all three references and NAB prosecutors had presented their final arguments against Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar as well as Sharif’s sons, Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz, who are still absconding, in the Avenfield Apartments reference.

If the accountability court decides one of the three references separately of the other two, the counsel stated, the judge would already have disclosed his mind with regard to not only the accused, common in all three references, but also in respect to facts which are common to all three cases. If the court goes ahead, he stated, it would be obliged to stay its hand from deciding the other two references as a matter of propriety, equity and fair play. INP