Sharif to face indictment Oct 9, warrants issued for children

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Islamabad, Oct 2 (IANS) The accountability court here on Monday deferred ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s indictment to October 9 in three corruption cases against him and his family while issuing non-bailable arrest warrants for the former leader’s children and son-in-law.

The anti-corruption court issued non-bailable arrest warrants for Sharif’s children — Hassan, Hussain, Maryam — and for son-in-law Captain Safdar after they failed to appear before it despite repeated summons, Dawn online reported.

Khawaja Harris, Sharif’s counsel, informed the court during the hearing that the Sharif children were busy tending to their convalescing mother in London and will appear in court once she is better.

Previously, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had sent bailable arrest warrants on September 26 for Sharif’s children and son-in-law to their residences in Lahore and London.

Sharif had arrived around 8.30 a.m. at the court amid tight Rangers deployment. He was accompanied by his political aide Senator Asif Kirmani and only his vehicle was allowed to enter the complex.

Media representatives as well as supporters of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and members of the government were barred from entering the complex.

After Sharif’s appearance before the court, Mohsin Ranjha, a member of his legal team said that the former premier’s indictment was deferred to October 9.

The Sharif family is facing corruption references pertaining to their London apartments, Azizia Steel Mills and 16 offshore companies filed against them by the NAB on the orders of the apex court.

The former Prime Minister had earlier appeared before the accountability court last week.

At the Monday hearing, Harris pleaded the court to exempt his client Sharif from personal appearance. However, the judge observed that the matter would be deliberated upon once the former premier has been indicted.

According to reports, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will also hold meetings of its central working committee and general council later in the day to appoint Sharif as the party’s president after his removal from office.

The Supreme Court had disqualified Sharif from office on July 28 in the so-called Panama Papers case. NAB had also filed one reference against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for owning assets beyond his known sources of income.

He had already been indicted in the reference against him.

–IANS

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