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Pakistan court defers Sharif's indictment in Panama Papers case

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Islamabad | Friday, 2017 2:45:04 PM IST
An anti-corruption court on Friday adjourned the indictment of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar in the Panama Papers case till October 19 after it witnessed a raucous protest by lawyers.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had registered three corruption references against Sharif, his family members and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the Islamabad Accountability Court after the apex court on July 28 disqualified the former Premier from holding office.

The corruption references against the Sharifs pertain to their London apartments, Azizia Steel Mills and 16 offshore companies.

Just as accountability court Judge Muhammad Bashir entered the courtroom to commence the hearing, a number of lawyers associated with the PML-N forced their way inside and surrounded the judge's bench, claiming that they were manhandled by security forces outside the court and were prevented from entering the courtroom, Dawn news reported.

The lawyers threatened to hold up the hearing until action was taken against the police officials.

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

Sharif did not attend the hearing as he is in London with his ailing wife, Begum Kulsoom. He had sent his representative to the court.

As she left the court premises, Maryam Nawaz asked the Interior Ministry to come up with a strategy to prevent such events from occurring in the future. She said the lawyers should have been permitted to attend the hearing.

Judge Bashir also approved the NAB plea to declare Sharif's sons, Hassan and Hussain, proclaimed offenders. Their non-bailable arrest warrants, issued at the last hearing on October 2, remain in effect.

--IANS soni/dg

( 294 Words)

2017-10-13-14:00:07 (IANS)

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