Pakistan: Accountability court to conclude cases against Sharif in 6-weeks
Pakistan's Supreme Court today ordered the accountability court in Islamabad to conclude the remaining two corruption cases against jailed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family within the next six weeks, according to a media report. The 68-year-old PML-N leader appeared before the accountability court today for hearing in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and the Hill Metal Establishment cases. Here's more.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar, ordered a six-week extension in the deadline for concluding the remaining cases, Last week, accountability judge Mohammad Arshad Malik had submitted a written request to SC, seeking a fifth extension in Sharif's trial.
The Supreme Court also directed accountability judge Malik to submit a progress report of the case to the apex court on a weekly basis, Dawn newspaper reported. During a hearing of the application seeking an extension in the deadline, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that he hoped that the defense counsel would complete his defense within the stipulated time.
Sharif, along with his daughter Maryam, 44, and his son-in-law Capt (Retd) Muhammad Safdar, 54, are already serving jail terms of 10 years, seven years and one year respectively in the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. The accountability court convicted them on July 6 this year over the family's ownership of four luxury flats in London through illegal means.
The pending corruption cases against Sharif and his two sons, Hassan and Hussain, were transferred by the Islamabad High Court on Aug 7 on an application of Sharif to another accountability court. His two sons have been declared as absconders due to their failure to appear before the court. They have been blacklisted by the authorities, barring them from traveling on their Pakistani passports.
Three corruption cases were filed against Sharif and family last year following a decision by SC on 28 Jul'17. The Sharif family's formal trial started on Sept 14 and was to be completed in six months but the deadline was extended at least thrice.