NAB references: Nawaz, Maryam, Safdar to be indicted today

Capt Safdar moves IHC to putt off indictment in graft reference

The court has summoned former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain Safdar for indictment, however, Sharif skipped the hearing as he is in London to visit his ailing wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.

The lawyers alleged that they were manhandled by the security forces outside the court and prevented them from entering the courtroom.

Maryam, while interacting with reporters, expressed concern over the unnecessary hurdles created for lawyers and asked the interior ministry to probe the incident.

Nawaz Sharif, Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz are nominated in references regarding Park Lane apartments, Al Azizia Steel Mills and offshore companies, while Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt (retd) Safdar are nominated in reference regarding Park Lane apartments.

As the accountability court began hearing the corruption cases against the Sharif family, a group of lawyers entered the courtroom protesting police high-handedness against them. According to a court official, Safdar petitioned the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to pre-empt the indictment but the court rejected his plea.

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Judge Bashir left the court room and later announced the postponement of the hearing till October 19.

"Those who want to appear by free will are arrested from airport, but we are not afraid of it", she said.

Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Harris asked the court to adjourn hearing for 15 days with commitment that Sharif would also appear.

The court was expected to indict Nawaz Sharif's daughter and son-in-law.

Meanwhile, the accountability court has ordered inquiry of the incident on the application filed by Advocate Naeem Gujar.

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Earlier on Wednesday, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) posted the order on the main gate of the Sharif family's residences in Jati Umra and Model Town, Lahore.

NAB's Rawalpindi branch prepared two references regarding the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and the almost dozen companies owned by the Sharif family.

The references were filed in the backdrop of Supreme Court's July 28 decision in the Panama Papers case in which Nawaz Sharif was also disqualified for concealing his employment with Capital FZE, a firm owned by his younger son Hassan.

If convicted, the accused may face up to 14 years imprisonment and lifelong disqualification from holding public office including the freezing of bank accounts and assets.

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