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Ousted PM gets 7-day relief from court
November 16, 2017
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ISLAMABAD: An accountability court of Islamabad on Wednesday allowed ousted Prime Minister exemption from appearance before it for seven days while it granted immunity to his daughter Maryam for a month.

Sharif, Maryam and his son-in-law Capt. (retd) Safdar appeared before the court in connection with hearing on three references filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the Supreme Court direction contained in the July 28 judgment in the Panama case.

Two prosecution witnesses were recorded their statements against Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Safdar. They included Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Joint Registrar Sidra Mansoor and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Inland Revenue Department representative, Jahangir Ahmad.

Sidra Mansoor told the court that she had appeared before the investigation officer of the NAB in Lahore on Aug.18, and provided documents containing the Sharif family’s financial records.

“The records that the NAB presented in the court contain my signatures and thumb impressions,” she said, adding that, among other things, the records also contained audit reports of the Sharif family’s various businesses.

The witness said that the the Hudaibiya Paper Mills audit reports consistently showed Rs494,6000 in the company’s accounts for five years between 2000 to 2005.

When Sharif’s lawyer, Khawaja Haris, was given the floor to cross-question the first witness, he observed that the audit reports submitted by the SECP to the NAB were photocopies and did not have the company’s stamp on them.

Defending the authenticity of the documents, Sidra Mansoor said that the photocopies were provided to the SECP by the Sharifs’ company as per the law.

Jahangir Ahmad said that all tax records that the NAB had provided to the court were given to it by his office.

Before the hearing began, Sharif and Maryam filed separate applications for exemption from future court hearings.

In his plea, Sharif asked to be exempted from trial hearings till Nov.27 as the next spell of his wife’s chemotherapy is about to begin in London.

“We have been together for 40 years, I can’t abandon my wife in testing times,” he reasoned in his application.

Maryam said that she would present herself in the court whenever there is a hearing. However, she requested the court to allow Jahangir Jadoon to represent her in case she had to leave Pakistan in case of an emergency.

The NAB prosecutors objected to both applications, asserting that as neither Sharif nor his daughter is ill and they should not be exempted from attending court proceedings.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and ministers including Tariq Fatemi, Saad Rafique, Talal Chaudhry and Maryam Aurangzeb were present during the hearing, which was adjourned till Nov.22.

Meanwhile, accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir said that in the correspondence Sharif’s sons Hussain and Hassan should be described as proclaimed offenders for nonappearance before him.

Sharif accused courts of double standards and vowed to take his struggle against this policy to the logical end.

“Accountability is being controlled by someone else and we are only being punished. This is not accountability but revenge,” he told reporters.

Sharif said he was framed in the plane hijacking case in 1999 after imposition of martial law and was being framed again.

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