Panama Papers case: Pak court defers indictment of Nawaz Sharif

Panama Papers case: Pak court defers indictment of Nawaz Sharif

It merits highlighting here that the court had already separated the ongoing trials of ex-PM Sharif's sons - Hasan and Hussain Nawaz - after declaring them absconder for their perpetual absence during the court proceedings.

A Pakistani court has delayed the indictment of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter and son-in-law on corruption charges following clashes between his supporters and police.

Sharif, 67, was disqualified by the country's top court in the Panama Papers scandal in July this year. They were waiting for the hearing to begin when lawyers present outside the court started chanting and fighting with the NAB and security officials present outside the court. Some lawyers also scuffled with the NAB's prosecution team which was there to argue the case.

The anti-graft watchdog officials claimed to be manhandled by the lawyers inside the courtroom. On the last hearing on October 9, the accountability court had approved the bail of Maryam and Capt Safdar and had observed that they, along with Nawaz, would be indicted on October 13.

Sharif again failed to appear before the judge as he was in London with his ailing wife Kulsoom, who is suffering from throat cancer and has undergone three surgeries so far.

Speaking to the media while leaving the court premises, she asked the Interior Ministry to do the needful so that anything like that doesn't happen in future.

"I don't know who created the problems for the lawyers". She said the lawyers should have been permitted to attend the hearing.

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During the hearing on 9 October, the court had chose to separate the trial of Sharif's sons-Hussain and Hassan-from Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law.

The petitioner also asked that apex court's direction to NAB regarding filing of three reference should be declared illegal.

The judge then adjourned the hearing amid the chaotic atmosphere and set Oct 19 for indictment of the Sharif family members. He may be jailed after the indictment.

PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashid said Sharif may return on next hearing but it depends on the condition of his wife.

Maryam and her spouse returned to Pakistan to appear in accountability court in connection with a reference related to the Sharif family's flats in a posh London neighbuorhood.

Commenting on Iqbal's statement regarding the Rangers "challenging the writ of the government", Ghafoor had said that a soldier deployed to do his duty should be commended for discharging his responsibilities despite facing pressure to abandon his orders.

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