Sharif moves SC against multiple corruption references

Islamabad: Ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the filing of multiple corruption references against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in relation to the Panama Papers case judgement.

The petition, filed by advocate Muhammad Kassim Mir Jat on behalf of Sharif, requested the court to order the anti-corruption body to file one consolidated reference instead of three separate references, Dawn newspaper reported.

The petition called filing of three three separate references “illegal and violative of law and the Constitution, besides being violative of his (Sharif’s) fundamental rights”.

“The filing of multiple references against an accused for the same alleged offence exposes him to double punishment,” the petition read.

It also urged the court to suspend proceedings in the NAB references being conducted in the accountability court in Islamabad until the Bureau files a consolidated reference against Sharif.

The NAB has in total filed three references against the Sharif family and one against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court, in light of the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.

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

Sharif was disqualified from holding public office over his failure to disclose unwithdrawn wages from a Dubai-based company owned by his son in the assets statement he filed along with his nomination papers in 2013. The judgement had thus asked NAB to file references against the Sharif family members.