Court dismisses Nawaz Sharif’s plea for delay in Avenfield verdict

Court dismisses Nawaz Sharif’s plea for delay in Avenfield verdict
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Islamabad: The accountability court on Friday dismissed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plea for delay in announcement of verdict in the Avenfield corruption case against his family.

The court will announce its verdict at 12:30pm (local time) today, reported the Dawn.

According to the report, the Sharifs had filed an application on Thursday requesting the court to delay the verdict in the Avenfield reference and grant a seven-day exemption in the wake of ailing health of Nawaz’s wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.

Amjad Pervez, counsel of Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam, argued that the law stipulates the presence of the accused when the verdict is read out.

Meanwhile, strict security arrangements have been made at the Federal Judicial Complex, where the court is located. Section 144 has been imposed in Islamabad to discourage mass gatherings ahead of the verdict, as per media reports.

Nawaz Sharif and Maryam are currently in London visiting Kulsoom Nawaz, who is suffering from cancer and is undergoing treatment there.

On June 14, both Sharif and his daughter left for the United Kingdom after they were granted a brief exemption from the ongoing trial.

Citing the condition of Kulsoom, Sharif moved an application for exemption from personal attendance on June 19 and was granted relief till until June 23.

Again a second application for exemption was filed on June 25 and the court granted the same for three days.

Sharif’s counsel sought third exemption from July 2 to July 9, which has been turned down by the court.

Both Sharif and his daughter were suppose to return to Pakistan by June 27.

Nawaz Sharif and his family are facing trial in three corruption cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which are Avenfield properties, Gulf Steel Mills and Al-Azizia Steel Mills.

The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017.

Nawaz and his abroad based sons, Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and her husband Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference.

(ANI)