nsucurrent.com May 20, 2018

Pakistan Court Delays Ex-PM Sharif's Indictment After Clash

15 October 2017, 12:54 | Colleen Roy

Nawaz Sharif's son-in-law's petition to delay indictment rejected

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Just as accountability court Judge Muhammad Bashir entered the courtroom to commence the hearing, a number of lawyers associated with the PML-N forced their way inside and surrounded the judge's bench, claiming that they were manhandled by security forces outside the court and were prevented from entering the courtroom, Dawn news reported.

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. Reportedly, minutes before the court was about to begin proceedings, lawyers started protesting against security arrangements which had "restricted their movement in the court premises".

NAB officials said that they were manhandled by the lawyers inside the court and the head of their prosecution team, Sardar Muzaffar, was pushed from the dais.

Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt (retd) Safdar reached the judicial complex separately on Friday morning.

Before that, on July 28, Sharif was disqualified as the Prime Minister, following Supreme Court's directives. The lawyers also produced their one colleague who, according to them, was injured by police personnel during the scuffle. Meanwhile, Maryam arrived at the complex.

The judge rejected the request of Nawaz Sharif's counsel to adjourn the cases for two weeks so that his client could return from London and appear before it. After the rejection of petition, it is highly likely that Sharif, Maryam and Safdar would be indicted tomorrow during the hearing, unless the court delays it. Unfortunately, the strategy followed by the defence from the outset is apparently one of bogging down the judicial process in hair-splitting legal technicalities and procedural glitches, and aggressive speeches against the judiciary by a group of zealous PML-N loyalists, including cabinet ministers.

On Oct 5, the former prime minister departed for London to visit his ailing wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz undergoing treatment for threat cancer.

After appearing before the court Maryam had said that she was not afraid of getting arrested.

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