ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has requested the accountability court to delay the announcement of its verdict in the Avenfield case until his return from London. The verdict in the landmark case is to be announced on Friday, however, there are factors that are likely to delay the decision, a local media house reported.
According to a NAB official quoted in a report, “It happens in 90 per cent cases in the accountability court that the decision is postponed for another date for some valid reasons like the review of lengthy cases by the judge.”
Before announcing the verdict, the judge has to review 10-month-long tedious work of the defence and prosecution lawyers and testimonies of 18 witnesses along with 10 volumes of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report.
In addition to that, another reason for the delay can be the absence of the accused (Nawaz), as the court does not announce the verdict in the absence of any accused.
“The court had issued notices to the accused to ensure their presence on July 6. But since Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz are not in Pakistan, the verdict could be delayed to give them time to appear,” the official stated.
The Avenfield case against Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (r) Mohammad Safdar is one of the most high-profile cases for Judge Muhammad Bashir. He has also decided five references against former president Asif Ali Zardari who was acquitted in all cases as evidence was not available against him in the form of original documents.
The Avenfield reference was among those filed by the NAB against Nawaz and his children on the Supreme Court’s orders in Panama Papers case.