Islamabad: Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s defence counsel has been given a last chance to commence their final arguments in the Avenfield properties reference after Eid holidays, the accountability court said on Thursday.
Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir informed the counsel that he had time till July 10 to conclude the trial in three references, as per Dawn.
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.
Barrister Jahangir Jadoon submitted the papers of attorney on Sharif’s behalf. He also filed an exemption application explaining that Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz departed for London on Thursday and hence, could not appear before the court.
The judge asked Jadoon to forward final arguments in the Avenfield. In response, the lawyer said his client had not instructed him to argue the case since he needed time to appoint another counsel.
The court then asked the counsel for Maryam Nawaz and her spouse (R) Captain Mohammad Safdar to start his arguments since they were scheduled for the same date. Safdar’s advocate informed the court that senior counsel Amjad Pervez was suffering from dehydration and was unwell.
The additional deputy prosecutor general (ADPG) of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi, claimed that the defence counsel was on purpose using delaying tactics in an attempt to drag the trial proceedings.
Sharif’s lawyer Khwaja Haris on June 11, terminated his legal services to Nawaz and his family in corruption cases, citing an inability to appear before accountability court on weekends.
Haris also stated that the Supreme Court had ‘dictated on completing the trial within a month, which was not possible.’
The judge fixed June 19 for the cross-examination of Wajid Zia in the Al-Azizia/Hill Metal Establishment reference.