Amid tight security, accountability court set to announce historic verdict today


Sharif family. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Sharif family. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court in Islamabad is set to announce the verdict in the Avenfield reference filed against deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam Nawaz, son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar and both sons Hassan and Hussain.

The court will also hear the petition filed by Nawaz and Maryam to defer the verdict by seven days so they may be present in court when it is announced. Judge Arshad Malik of the accountability court heard the petition yesterday [Thursday] and fixed it for hearing today. If the court rules in favour of the petition, the verdict could be delayed.

Court to announce Avenfield reference verdict on July 6

While the court had initially requested the interior ministry for 500 rangers to be deployed at the court premises, the numbers deployed were merely 300, despite the ministry’s approval. Both Maryam and Nawaz are still in London and will not be attending the hearing.

Earlier, the court reserved its judgment in the case after almost 10 months of proceedings and roughly 80 plus appearances of the former prime minister, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar Abbasi.

Judge Muhammad Bashir reserved the judgment after defence counsel Amjad Pervaiz concluded his arguments, saying he would announce the judgment on July 6 and, subsequently, issued notice to the accused requiring their attendance before the court on Friday.

Nawaz, Maryam decide to return for accountability court hearing

In his final arguments, Amjad Pervaiz said “the entire investigation of the joint investigation team was conducted with a preconceived mind to implicate the whole Sharif family in the cases”. During his arguments, he reiterated that malice of the JIT was floating on the surface in the reference.

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In his arguments, the counsel said that there is no seal and certification of the Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) of British Virgin Island (BVI) on the Mossack Fonseca’s letters of 2012 through which the prosecution had called Maryam Nawaz as the beneficial owner of the London properties





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