Accountability judge accepts Sharifs' plea seeking exemption from court appearances

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The accountability court hearing three corruption cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family will announce shortly its decision on Nawaz and his daughter's request to be exempted from personal appearance.

Maryam Nawaz and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar have been nominated in a single corruption reference in connection with the Sharif family's London properties.

Before the hearing began on Wednesday, Nawaz pleaded with the court seeking an exemption from the court appearances from November 20 for a week as the next round of his wife's chemotherapy sessions is about to begin.

In her application, Maryam said that she would present herself in court whenever there is a hearing.

Judge Mohammad Bashir, who is also trying Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law in the same corruption cases stemming from the Panama Papers scandal, however rejected the contention, and declared the two absconders, local Geo News reported.

This report was cross examined by Nawaz Sharif's counsel Khawaja Haris and Maryam Nawaz's lawyer.

The hearing has been adjourned till November 22.

The court has summoned four another witnesses to record their statement.

Earlier, the court had issued perpetual warrants for Mr Hussain and Hassan Nawaz's arrest and separated their trial from other members of the family.

It was the 12th hearing of Avenfield properties and Azizia Steel Mills references and 13th hearing of the Flagship Investment reference.

They further informed the court that notifications to appear before the court had been sent to Nawaz's sons at their residences in Pakistan, including 180-181, Block H, Model Town, Lahore, and Shamim Farm, Jati Umra, Raiawind Road, Lahore, and were also pasted on the notice board at Federal Judicial Complex.

The Supreme Court also assigned Justice Ijazul Ahsan a supervisory role to monitor the progress of the accountability court proceedings.

Earlier a bench of the IHC granted Sharif's request with regard to clubbing together the three corruption references filed against him, and revoked the accountability court's Oct 19 verdict, directing it to reconsider the request.

The court began proceedings against the three accused even though the Islamabad High Court (IHC) admitted Sharif's petition challenging the accountability court's refusal to club three separate references against him and fixed November 20 as the date for the next hearing.

The references against the Sharif family pertain to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, their London properties and over dozen offshore companies owned by the family.

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