Accountability court judge Mohammad Bashir excuses himself from hearing Al-Azizia, Flagship cases

Islamabad: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) trial court’s Judge Muhammad Bashir on Monday has excused to hear the other two references against imprisoned former Prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

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Judge Muhammad Bashir ought to hear the references of Al-Azizia and Flagship references against Sharif Family.

According to Sources, Islamabad high court received the apology letter of trial  court’s judge in which he requested that he cannot further proceeds to these references.

“I have already given a judgment in Avenfield reference, cannot hear the references of Al-Azizia and Flagship”, wrote Muhammad Bashir in his letter.

“Nawaz Sharif’s  legal counsel also put objections on me”, he added.

Earlier today, deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, and Captain (retd) Safdar Awan filed an appeal against the verdict in the Avenfield Properties corruption reference in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The appeal — that highlights the legal flaws in the Avenfield judgement — asks for the accountability court’s verdict to be declared null and void and the three convicts to be released on bail.

The appeal states that Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head and prosecution’s star witness Wajid Zia himself accepted that a response to the mutual legal assistance (MLA) request was not received. It further said that levelling allegations without receiving a response to the MLA was mala fide.

Legal counsels of the convicts have contended that the prosecution’s witness Robert Radley not only stated that Calibri font was available for testing purposes, he admitted to having downloaded and used the Calibri font which was available as pre-release of Windows Vista known as BETA-1 since the year 2005 while simultaneously admitting that he was neither a computer expert nor an IT expert or a computer geek.

Nawaz and Maryam arrived in Pakistan on Friday evening. They were arrested upon their arrival in Lahore and shifted to Adiala Jail in separate convoys. Safdar was arrested earlier on July 9.

It is pertinent to mention here that an accountability court had sentenced Nawaz to a total of 11 years in prison and slapped a £8 million fine (Rs1.3 billion) in the corruption reference while his daughter Maryam was sentenced to eight years with a £2 million fine (Rs335 million). Additionally, Nawaz’s son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar was given a one-year sentence without any fine.

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