Fifth deadline to wind up trial against Nawaz Sharif ends

ISLAMABAD: The fifth deadline to wind up trial against former premier Nawaz Sharif and family in the Al-Azizia and Flagship corruption cases in six weeks expired on Sunday.

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The accountability court of Judge Arshad Malik is hearing of the corruption cases against the former premier and his family members.

On August 26, the top court directed the accountability court to decide the remaining two cases against the Sharif family within six weeks.

In the Al-Azizia case, the court has recorded depositions of all prosecution witnesses and cross-examination of the investigation officer is underway. Nawaz Sharif’s statement would be recorded once the IO’s cross-examination is completed. Witness Wajid Zia, who was head of the Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT), and the investigation officer are yet to testify in the Flagship reference.

AC Judge Arshad Malik will likely submit a request to the Supreme Court seeking more time to conclude trial of Nawaz Sharif.

The Case

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

On July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference.

Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.

The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.

On July 10, the Supreme Court granted another six-week extension to the Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the remaining corruption references against Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.

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