South Asia

Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif Appears in Court for Remaining Graft Cases

The remaining two graft cases of former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to be concluded within the next six weeks, orders Pakistan's Supreme Court.

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court today ordered the accountability court to conclude the remaining two corruption cases against Nawaz Sharif and his family within the next six weeks, as the jailed former prime minister appeared in court, according to a media report.

The 68-year-old leader of The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) appeared before the court for the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and the Hill Metal Establishment cases.

The court also directed accountability judge Mohammad Arshad Malik to submit a progress report of the case to the apex court on a weekly basis, Dawn newspaper reported.

During a hearing of the application seeking an extension in the deadline, Chief Justice Saqib Nisar remarked that he hoped that the defence counsel would complete his defence within the stipulated time.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan, Justice Saqib Nisar, ordered a six-week extension in the deadline for concluding the remaining two corruption cases.

Last week, Malik had submitted a written request to the top court, seeking a fifth extension in the trial of ousted prime minister Sharif.

Sharif, along with his daughter Maryam, 44, and his son-in-law Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar, 54, are already serving jail terms of ten years, seven years and one year respectively in the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. The accountability court convicted them on July 6 over the family’s ownership of four luxury flats in London through illegal means.

The pending corruption cases against Sharif and his two sons were transferred by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on August 7 due to an application by Sharif to another accountability court headed by judge Malik.

Three corruption cases were filed against Sharif and family last year following a decision by the Supreme Court on July 28 of the same year.

The formal trial of the Sharif family started on September 14 and was to be completed in six months but the deadline was extended at least thrice.

Apart from Sharif, his two sons – Hassan and Hussian – are also co-accused in all three corruption cases.

The court has already declared the two sons as absconders due to their persistent failure to appear before the court. They have been blacklisted by the authorities, barring them from travelling on their Pakistani passports.

(PTI)

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