The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday instructed the respondents to come prepared and make their arguments at the next hearing of the appeals of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N)’s Vice President Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt. (r) Muhammad Safdar in Avenfield property reference.
Maryam Nawaz appeared before the court along with her legal team. Special Prosecutor National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Imtiaz Saddiqui excused himself from the hearing while the other Special Prosecutor, Azhar Saddiq, could not appear due to engagements in Lahore High Court. At the outset of the hearing, defence lawyer Irfan Qadir pleaded that the bench had raised some questions before the bureau which could not be answered so far.
The two new prosecutors were given time for preparation but both did not attend the proceeding, he said.
He said the arguments have almost been completed and prayed the court not to further delay the case. Justice Aamer Farooq asked why defence lawyer Amjad Pervaiz did not raise objections during the trial, to which the lawyer said he had pointed them out. Irfan Qadir argued that their case was that NAB had prepared a false case and there were no solid proofs against his clients.
Justice Farooq remarked that the court would view the matter even if there was a lack of proof. The court said it had asked the bureau to present the case record. Qadir said the case had the same grounds as Maryam Nawaz and former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. He said that the former prime minister should be given comfort so that he is able to return and appear before the court.
The NAB prosecutor objected to the matter and said this matter was not currently before this court. Amjad Pervaiz said that NAB was only using delaying tactics. The court asked the lawyers to make arguments at the next hearing on June 2. Meanwhile, a division bench of IHC has extended the stay order on further proceedings of the accountability court on NAB reference over the dubious transaction of Rs8 billion against former president Asif Ali Zardari. staff report