NO SUCH EXAMPLE OF INDICTMENT IN ABSENTIA: EX-PM
From Our Correspondent
ISLAMABAD: After a day long legal wrangle aimed at delaying indictment , ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam Nawaz and son in law Captain (Rtd) Mohammad Safdar were indicted by an accountability court in Islamabad yesterday in a reference pertaining to the Aven-field flats filed against them by the NAB. All three accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. After their indictment, Maryam, Safdar and Nawaz Sharif’s pleader read out the following statement: “I do not plead guilty. Charges are not only groundless, baseless and unfounded but also frivolous, and on top of that we are being denied our right to fair trial. The charges are being framed on a report that is incomplete and controversial. It will go down in history as [a] mockery of justice and travesty of justice. Moreover, the charges are being framed without awaiting the detailed SC order in the review petitions.” Sharif, who is currently in the UK, was also indicted in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment references as well. His sons, Hassan and Hussain, were named co-accused in the charge sheet in the references. Since Nawaz Sharif and his lead defence counsel are abroad, the court indicted the former prime minister through pleader Zafir Khan, while the charges against Maryam and Safdar were framed in their presence. The pleader, Zafir Khan, pleaded not guilty on Sharif’s behalf and read out a statement from him in court. Maryam has been charged for being the beneficial owner of the London flats and Capt Safdar being her accomplice in acquiring the apartments. The accused failed to show the sources of income used to purchase the London flats, reads the indictment order. The trial in the Avenfield flats reference will start on Oct 26. The SECP joint registrar, Sidra Mansoor, will record her statement as the first witness in the case. Meanwhile, our correspondent from London adds: PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif while talking to media yesterday, asked whether his indictment is justice or something else, expressing concerns over continuation of trial against him while he is away. Nawaz Sharif who through his pleader pleaded innocence said there is no other example of such indictment during absence. Ex-PM declared the JIT made to investigate Sharif family’s London properties as biased and claimed that PML-N’s enemies were included in the JIT. Nawaz has decided to return home and booked a seat to fly back on October 21, sources told. However, some other sources also claimed that he will be reaching on October 25.
First case in which trial started after verdict: Maryam
– Maryam Nawaz, while talking to reporters at the accountability court, said one day there would be ‘accountability of the accountability process’ her family is going through. “Injustice and atrocities cannot continue together,” she said. She said this was the first case of its kind “in which the verdict had been announced first and the trial was being held later.” Without naming any institution, Maryam said if any punishment has to be announced, it should be announced once and for all to “save time of the country and nation”. “Don’t make a mockery of the law and the Constitution … and make yourself controversial,” Maryam Nawaz said.