Pak Anti-Corruption Court Indicts Ousted PM Sharif & His Daughter

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Islamabad: A Pakistani anti-graft court on Thursday indicted ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter for allegations linked to ownership of posh London flats. Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and her husband retired Captain Mohammad Safdar were indicted by an accountability court in Islamabad on Thursday in connection with a reference pertaining to the Avenfield flats filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), DawnNews reported.

All three accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. Sharif and his sons Hassan and Hussain will be indicted in the other two references later today. The court proceeded with the indictment of the trio after rejecting two applications filed by Sharif, Maryam and Safdar requesting suspension of the indictment.

The court indicted the Sharif family members in the London properties reference today even though Nawaz Sharif and lead defence counsel Khawaja Haris are both out of the country.
Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir was set to indict Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt Safdar on Oct 13. However, after a violent clash between the lawyers and police for not permitting the former into the premises of the Federal Judicial Complex (FJC), the court deferred the indictment until today.

Since Sharif and his lead defence counsel are abroad, the court indict the former prime minister through pleader Zafir Khan, while the charges against Maryam and Safdar were framed in person, a defence lawyer told Dawn. He said defence lawyers would assist the judge.

On Oct 9, Ahmed, the counsel of Sharif and his daughter, had filed applications seeking an exemption from personal attendance for Sharif and another seeking a 15-day adjournment.
He told the court that the former premier was in London to tend to his ailing wife who was undergoing treatment for lymphoma. He said she was in critical condition and had not recovered despite a third surgery. The court had exempted Sharif from appearing on October 9, but fixed Oct 13 for his indictment.

The cases were registered weeks after the Supreme Court disqualified Sharif as prime minister on July 28 in the Panama Papers scandal.

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