ISLAMABAD: The accountability court on Wednesday formally began trial proceedings against ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired captain Muhammad Safdar in three corruption references filed against the Sharif family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The prosecution’s first witness, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s (SECP) joint registrar, Sidra Mansoor recorded her statement in the Avenfield flats reference as the trial proceedings began. Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Inland Revenue Department representative, Jahangir Ahmad also recorded his statement.
Before the court proceedings began, both Maryam and her father filed separate applications for exemption from future court hearings.
In her application, Maryam said that she would present herself in court whenever she is called, however, if she has to leave the country in case of an emergency, the court should allow her representative, Jahangir Jadoon, to appear in court in her stead.
The ousted PM, in his application, said that he should be exempted from trial hearings for a week as the next spell of his wife’s chemo therapy is about to begin.
“We have been together for 40 years, I can’t abandon my wife in testing times,” Sharif said in his application.
The former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were granted exemption from appearance by the accountability court. The accountability court exempted Nawaz Sharif from appearance for seven days from November 20th while Maryam has been granted exemption for a month.
My punishment being ‘dictated’: Nawaz
Speaking to the media after appearing before the accountability court Nawaz Sharif said that the “punishment” being meted out to him is being done so at someone’s behest.
He added that it seemed the detailed Supreme Court order dismissing their review petition in the Panama Papers case was written by their political opponents.
“[The review petition] was a message to the accountability court that Nawaz has to be punished at any cost,” alleged the former premier.
He told the media to mark his words, that the “judge will not give the punishment [on his own]” but will be dictated to do so.
Responding to a journalist’s question inside the court premises about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan’s bail approval by the anti-terrorism court (ATC), Nawaz said, “the courts have double standards. We are striving against these double standards and will take this struggle to its logical end”.
He added that the principles and criteria of courts differ in his and Imran’s cases. He stated the judges used such harsh words in the detailed verdict that are normally given by political opponents. INP