A day after ousted Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were arrested in Lahore, the Ministry of Law and Justice said the trial in the remaining two corruption cases against the PML-N supremo and his family will be conducted in the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, where the duo is reportedly currently lodged.
According to a copy of the order obtained by Firstpost, the notification read: “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (b) of section 16 of the National Accountability Ordinance, 1999 (XVIII of 1999), the federal government is please to specify the Central Jail Adiala, Rawalpindi, to be the place where the Accountability Court-I, Islamabad shall sit for trial of References No. 18/2017 and 19/2017 against Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and others.”
On 6 July, the NAB sentenced Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (retired) Mohammad Safdar to jail in the Avenfield properties case, one of the three corruption cases against Sharif following the Panama Papers scandal. The case was regarding the Sharifs owning four apartments in the posh Mayfair area in London.
The family is now facing two more corruption cases in the accountability court — Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investments — in which they are accused of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets.
Sharifs plea for transfer of case rejected
On Thursday, NAB dismissed Sharif’s petition to transfer the remaining two corruption cases against him to another accountability court. Judge Muhammad Bashir of the Islamabad Accountability Court stated that after passing the judgment and framing charges on members of the Sharif family, he can not recuse himself from the case. To transfer the case to another court, the relevant high court authorities need to be approached, and if the case is to be transferred across provinces, then the Supreme Court needs to be consulted with, GeoTV had quoted the judge as saying.
During Thursday’s hearing, Khawaja Haris, Sharif’s counsel, stated that Judge Bashir had already made public his opinion on the Joint Investigation Team’s report and on the Gulf Steel Mills.
Sharif’s counsel maintained that there are similarities in the cases, and since Judge Bashir’s viewpoint on those points is already in the open, a request for a new judge was made. The NAB prosecutor was of the opinion that since Judge Bashir has heard all sides of the case, he should continue the hearings. The hearing was then adjourned till 17 July, the report said.
The latest notification comes after Sharif and Maryam were arrested minutes after landing in Lahore on Friday. The duo was later sent on a special private plane bound for Islamabad International Airport from where they were shifted to Adiala jail in separate armoured vehicles escorted by the police.
– FP . Agencies