IHC adjourns Maryam, Safdar’s appeals against conviction till 16th

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday adjourned till June 16 hearing of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (r) Muhammad Safdar’s appeals against their conviction in the Avenfield property reference.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kayani heard the appeals. The couple appeared before the court along with their legal team under strict security measures. During the proceedings, Justice Aamer Farooq remarked that the court was trying to conclude the appeals as soon as possible.

Amjad Pervaiz, the counsel for Maryam, argued that he had submitted a chart of facts related to the case.

He said the defence was denied permission to provide the Volume-X of the joint investigation team’s report. “The volume-X was related to MLAs,” he added, adding that the defence should be told that what information was sought in MLAs.

Justice Kayani asked that lawyer why he was arguing on the matter which was not on the record. The lawyer said he was telling the court regarding all events of the trial. Amjad Pervaiz said a MLA copy related to British Virgins Islands (BVI) was not shared with the defence and they did not know why it was not sent through the foreign office like other MLAs.

He said letters sent to Dubai and Qatri authorities were provided but the sentence was announced on the basis of the proofs of BVI.

The lawyer further said that the then JIT head Wajid Zia had admitted that the answer of MLA related to the ownership of the London property was never received.

Amjad Pervaiz said the reference had not clarified the roles of the accused, adding that there was nothing against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on the record. Even the top court had not declared Maryam Nawaz a dependent of her father, he said.

The lawyer said the NAB had not conducted any investigation in this matter. “If there was no fair investigation then how a fair trial was possible,” he asked.

Justice Farooq remarked that if there was proof against the prime accused then still it had to be viewed that whether the co-accused had assisted him or not. The lawyer said amendments to NAB ordinance would not be applied from the past dates.

Amjad Pervaiz said that no evidence was recorded during the trial related to the value of the property.

The NAB had also not provided any proofs regarding sources of purchasing the property. The court asked the lawyer to continue his arguments on the next hearing and adjourned the case till June 16.