Panama Case: Nawaz’s indictment on Oct 2, Warrants issued for children

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Islamabad: Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will today appear before a court in Islamabad to face the corruption references filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Panama Papers scandal.

The accountability court in Islamabad, which is hearing the corruption cases against the Sharif family, last week summoned Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar to appear before it on September 26.

The court issued bailable warrants for the arrest of Nawaz’s children and son-in-law to ensure their appearance at the next hearing.

Earlier, as the hearing began, Judge Mohammad Bashir allowed the former prime minister to exit the court after marking his attendance so the proceedings could begin properly.

Heavy security arrangements have been made around judicial complex in view of the hearing.

Sharif was in London from August 31 to be with his ailing wife, Kulsoom, who is undergoing treatment for throat cancer.

Sharif, 67, decided to return after consultations with senior party leaders including his younger brother and Punjab province chief minister Shahbaz Sharif in London, party officials said.

He had stepped down after the Supreme Court disqualified him on July 28 from continuing in his office for dishonesty and ruled that corruption cases be filed against him and his children.

The NAB has filed three cases of corruption and money laundering against Sharif, his sons – Hassan and Hussain, daughter – Maryam, son-in-law – Safdar, and finance minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court in Islamabad and Rawalpindi recently.

The anti-graft body last week froze the bank accounts and seized properties of Sharif and his family members to put pressure on them to appear before the court.

Earlier, Sharif skipped a court hearing last week to defy the cases. His family has alleged that the cases are politically motivated.

Nawaz’s counsel, Khawaja Harris, represented Nawaz and his family, and was provided copies of the three references against his clients.

He also pleaded the court to exempt his client from personal appearance. However, the judge observed that the matter would be deliberated upon once Nawaz has been indicted.

The court then set October 2 as the date for the indictment of the former premier in all three references.

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