Sharif to be Indicted on 13 Oct, Daughter & Son-In-Law Given Bail
The former Pakistan PM slammed the judiciary for rejecting his appeal against his disqualification from office.
Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif failed to appear on Monday before an anti-graft court, which set 13 October as the date of his indictment, even as the daughter and son-in-law of the embattled premier were granted bail in the Panama Papers case, reported PTI.
His daughter, Maryam Nawaz, along with her spouse, former army captain Muhammad Safdar, landed in Islamabad late on Sunday night from London to appear in the Accountability Court. Safdar, according to PTI, was arrested on his arrival as the the court had issued non-bailable arrest warrant against the former Pakistan Army Captain.
Sharif and his two sons were absent during the hearing as they are in London, attending to his wife Kulsoom, who is battling throat cancer.
The former PM of Pakistan had attended the previous two hearings, but flew to London last week to see his ailing wife, who underwent a third surgery.
Court Rejects Sharif’s Plea, Will Indict the Accused During the Next Hearing
The court accepted the bail applications of Maryam and Safdar, and postponed the hearing till 13 October, according to court officials.
Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Harris asked the court to adjourn hearing for 15 days, with the commitment that Sharif would also appear. The court rejected the plea and announced that it will indict the accused during the next hearing.
The court also ordered to start the process of declaring Sharif's sons – Husain and Hasan – proclaimed offenders as they have failed to appear before it so far.
The court also decided to conduct separate trials of Husain and Hasan from Sharif and his daughter and son-in-law.
Amid tight security, Maryam, 43, who is being groomed as Sharif's political successor, appeared in the court for the first time on Monday.
She was ordered to submit a surety bond of Rs 50,000 against a non-bailable arrest warrant against her. The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials informed the court that Nawaz's sons, Hassan and Hussain, had left the country and were deliberately avoiding court appearances.
The NAB lawyers asked the court to send Safdar to jail on judicial remand but the court granted him bail and ordered him to pay Rs 50,000 for surety bonds. NAB’s request to confiscate Safdar’s passport was also rejected, and he was told to seek the court’s permission before travelling abroad.
Both Maryam and Safdar have been charged by the NAB in one of three corruption cases filed on 8 September against Sharif.
Maryam criticised the arrest of her husband and said he was taken into custody despite the fact that he had come back to face the case.
During the hearing, Sharif's lawyer also presented an application to exempt him from appearing before the court on Monday. The court accepted the plea.
According to IANS, an anti-corruption court in Pakistan had earlier issued arrest warrants against the three children and son-in-law of the former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after they failed to appear for a hearing.
Khawaja Haris, the lawyer of the Sharifs, had argued that Sharif's children could not appear before the court then as they were in London with their mother Kulsoom, who is undergoing treatment for throat cancer.
The former Prime Minister, after missing the first hearing on 19 September as he was in London, attended Tuesday's hearing to request permission to miss the next hearing due to his wife's illness.
The judge had then said the court would indict him on corruption charges on 2 October, for which his presence would be necessary. After that, it would be decided if he was required to continue appearing for the hearings.
The Sharifs had been summoned before the court on 15 September after the National Accountability Bureau, an anti-corruption body, opened three cases against them following an order by the Supreme Court on 28 July.
Sharif Slammed the Judiciary
Nawaz Sharif had slammed the judiciary in September for rejecting his appeal against his disqualification from office and reaffirmed he would fight a legal battle to clear his name.
Addressing a press conference after making his first appearance before the accountability court to face corruption charges, Sharif claimed he was targeted in the so-called Panama Papers case.
"I know for what reasons I am being punished," he said.
He claimed that "when they could not find proof (of his wrongdoing), they made a joint investigation team. The same courts and judges announced the decision and told NAB to open references."
"Then the same court took control of NAB," he said. "If necessary, this same court will listen to my last appeal as well."
Is this how justice works? Is this what we call the rule of law? Does Article 10 (of the Constitution) say this - is this what it means by a fair trial? This is the first case that the weight of the law was placed with the petitioner, and the rights of the defence were not implemented.Nawaz Sharif
The former premier said that he was ousted despite the failure of the prosecution to prove wrongdoing by him or his family.
No accusation was proved - they were not able to prove any corruption. But they had to disqualify me and so the iqama (his work permit with the UAE-based company) was used.Nawaz Sharif
Sharif said he would stay in Pakistan to face the courts despite strong reservations. He also announced that he would wage a struggle for democracy and sanctity of vote.
(With PTI, IANS inputs)
(Breathe in, Breathe out: Are you finding it tough to breathe in polluted air? Join hands with The Quint in partnership with #MyRightToBreathe to find a solution for pollution. Send in your suggestions firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp @ +919999008335)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.