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Indictment of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam, Safdar postpones till Oct 19

SLAMABAD: Accountability court postponed the indictment of Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son in law Captain Safdar due to the commotion of lawyers till October 19.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband MNA Capt (retd) Safdar reached the judicial complex separately Friday morning.

Senior leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), including cabinet members, were at the scene to receive the former premier’s daughter.

With strict security arrangements in place, police barred non-essential people, including lawyers, from entering the complex.

This led to a scuffle with the police, which resulted in the injury of at least one lawyer.

As the hearing went under way, the lawyers began protesting inside the court. They claimed the Islamabad High Court has allowed lawyers to be present inside the judicial complex as well as the accountability court as “it is an open court”.

The lawyers also argued with the deputy attorney general and created a commotion, forcing Judge Mohammad Bashir to leave for his chamber and abort today’s proceedings.

The next hearing will be held on October 19, when the accused will be indicted.

The former prime minister did not appear in court today as he is in London, along with his sons, to be with his wife who is undergoing treatment for lymphoma.

Maryam reached Islamabad from Lahore Thursday night and is residing at the residence of Chaudhry Muneer, her daughter’s father-in-law, in Sector F-6.

At the last hearing, on October 9, the accountability court approved the bail of Maryam and Safdar after they appeared in court.

Judge Mohammad Bashir also approved the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) plea to declare Nawaz’s sons, Hasan and Hussain, proclaimed offenders and separated their proceedings in the three references filed against them. Their non-bailable arrest warrants, issued at the last hearing on October 2, remain in effect.

The court also approved Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Harris’s request to approve his client’s exemption from appearance for that date only.

The judge set October 13 (today) as the date on which Nawaz  regardless of his presence , Maryam and Safdar will be indicted.

On Thursday, Capt (retd) Safdar challenged his indictment process in the Islamabad High Court but the plea was deemed non-maintainable.

The accountability court is hearing a total of three corruption cases against the Sharif family filed by NAB in light of the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Panama Papers case.

At the last hearing, the court also approved Maryam and Safdar’s bail in the Avenfiled properties case and ordered them to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.

Safdar was also directed to take the court’s permission before leaving the country from now on. The judge also provided a copy of the reference  spread over 53 volumes  to Maryam and Safdar.