SC to hear NAB appeal against corruption references' transfer on 11th - Pakistan Today

SC to hear NAB appeal against corruption references’ transfer on 11th

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday fixed a date for hearing of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) appeal against the transfer of Panama corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family to another accountability court.

NAB had moved SC against the Islamabad High Court’s (IHC) decision and made the former premier and Judge Mohammad Bashir respondents.

A three-member bench of the apex court will hear the petition on September 11.

The bench will be headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar. The bench will include Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan.

On August 7, IHC had ordered transferring the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references against convicted former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family to another court, accepting the plea filed by Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris.

The deposed premier’s counsel had filed a petition requesting the court to transfer Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references from Judge Muhammad Bashir’s Accountability Court-I to Accountability Court II.

Sharif family had also appealed against its conviction in Avenfield verdict.

On August 6, NAB Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi had submitted in IHC that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s petition of trial transfer to another accountability court could not be entertained because if an accused has been indicted by a court then the trial cannot be transferred to another judge.

“The reference is in its last stages henceforth the high court will have to decide on this matter now,” Abbasi had argued.

Earlier, Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris concluded his arguments in the petition to transfer the Al-Azizia and Flagship references against his client to another accountability court, submitting that there were similarities in the three references due to which the cases should be heard by any other judge except Muhammad Bashir.

He pleaded that for an impartial and fair trial, a fresh judge needs to be assigned to hear the remaining corruption cases against his client.

On July 6, an accountability court had sentenced Nawaz to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion) in Avenfield reference, while his daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million). Nawaz’s son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar was also given a one-year sentence without any fine.

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