IHC issues notices to NAB on Sharif’s plea against Avenfield case verdict

ISLAMABAD:  On Tuesday, the Islamabad High Court issued separate notices to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Nawaz Sharif’s plea to transfer the remaining corruption cases against him to another judge as well as on the Sharif family’s appeals against the Avenfield verdict.

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The court, however dismissed Nawaz Sharif’s plea seeking a stay over further proceedings until the IHC decides the fate of Avenfield verdict.

The court then adjourned the hearing till the last week of July, implicating that Nawaz and Maryam would stay in jail during the electoral process.

The elections are scheduled for July, 25th, 2018.

A number of appeals have been filed by Nawaz, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar regarding the Avenfield case verdict.

The hearing went under way today as soon as IHC Justices Mohsin Akhtar Kayani and Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb entered the courtroom, which was packed to the brim.

Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Harris presented arguments before the court.

Furthermore, the Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Basir on Tuesday observed that the further proceedings in two undecided graft cases against Sharifs will be decided when the Islamabad High Court determines the upon appeal filed by former premier Nawaz Sharif seeking the IHC to overturn the Avefield verdict.

The Court then adjourned the hearing till tomorrow, Newsone reported.

The former prime minister’s legal counsel had a day earlier contacted the high court against conducting a jail-trial and suspension of the sentence in the Avenfield Properties reference verdict. A two-member bench of the high court comprising of Justice Moshin Akhtar Kayani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb will hear both petitions today.

Furthermore, judge Mohammad Bashir rescued him from hearing Flagship investment and Al-Azizia reference on Monday.

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.

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