Pak court to pronounce verdict in 2 graft cases against Sharif next week

Islamabad: An anti-corruption court in Pakistan is set to give its verdict in two remaining corruption cases — Flagship Investment and Al-Azizia references, against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family on December 24.

During its hearing earlier today, an accountability court reserved its verdicts in the remaining graft cases against Sharif and said that it would give the final judgment on the stipulated date.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) wrapped up its arguments in the Flagship reference case against the former Pakistan prime minister on Tuesday. The anti-corruption watchdog had completed its arguments in the Al-Azizia reference case earlier this month, Geo News reported.

Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik turned down Sharif’s request for more time in the matter, as the NAB had stated that granting more time could further delay the graft cases.

Earlier this month, Pakistan’s Supreme Court had asked the accountability court to wrap up the corruption cases by December 24, after previously granting it seven extensions to conclude the NAB references.

The trial against the Sharif family had started on September 14 last year. They are accused of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets.

In July, Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were convicted in absentia in the Avenfield case by the accountability court. Apart from jail sentences, fines of eight million pounds and two million pounds were slapped on the father-daughter duo, respectively. Sharif’s son-in-law Captain (retd.) Muhammad Safdar was also given a one-year sentence but was exempted from paying fine.

However, the trio was released in September by the Islamabad High Court owing to lack of evidence.

Sharif and his two sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all the three corruption cases. Hussain and Hasan have been absconding ever since the proceedings began, with the accountability court having declared the two brothers as proclaimed offenders.