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Corruption,money laundering charges: Nawaz, Maryam,Safdar appear in accountability court

ISLAMABAD -UNS – Former Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar appeared in accountability court in National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) references today (Wednesday) in Corruption,money laundering charges .

During the hearing headed by Justice Mohammad Bashir, NAB witness Sidra Mansoor of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) recorded her statement, saying that she appeared in NAB Lahore bureau on August 18 and submitted Hudaibiya Papers Mills audit report from 2000 to 2005.

The court asked whether Nawaz Sharif’s name was present in the report over which, the witness said that as per record, the ex-prime minister was neither director nor share holder in Hudaibiya Papers Mills. Afterwards, Sharif’s lawyer Khawaja Harris completed his arguments and Maryam Nawaz’s counsel Amjad Pervez started giving his stance.

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz submitted plea seeking exemption from the hearing, owing to the ongoing medical treatment of Kulsoom Nawaz in London. They said that Nawaz’s pleader Zafir Khan and Maryam’s representative Jahangir Jadoon would ensure appearances on their behalf in their absence.

The court allowed Sharif family members to leave after which they departed for Punjab House while the proceeding is still underway.

Informally talking to journalists, Nawaz Sharif said, “Our struggle for the elimination of dual standard will reach its logical conclusion. He stated the judges used such harsh words which normally political opponents speak. It was already decided to punish us, he added.

Nawaz Sharif is nominated suspect in references regarding Avenfield properties, Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment, while Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (r) Safdar are nominated in reference regarding Avenfield properties alone.

The accountability court had also summoned two prosecution witnesses Sidra Mansoor of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Jahangir Ahmad of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to appear in the court today to record their statements.

It will be 12th hearing of Avenfield properties and Azizia Steel Mills references and 13th hearing of the Flagship Investment reference. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before accountability court on five occasions while Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Safdar for seven times.

The former PM was indicted by the accountability court in the court on November 8 in all three corruption references separately. However, Nawaz denied all the charges pleading not guilty, saying that the proceeding was initiated on political basis.

On the other hand, former PM’s sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz did not appear in the court during previous hearings after which the court started proceeding to declare them absconders. Both are likely to be declared absconders during today’s hearing.

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