No entry to ‘Politically motivated persons’

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From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: An accountability judge has ordered that “politically motivated persons”, including partisan lawyers, should not be allowed to enter the court during hearings of Panama Papers-related references against the Sharif family. In a letter addressed to Islamabad’s District Magistrate, Justice Miangul Hassan Aurungzeb has instructed that only lawyers involved in the on-going graft cases against members of the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar; nominees forwarded by authorised individuals; and 15 court reporters will be allowed to enter the courtroom. “Politically motivated persons” who may “obstruct the court proceedings” will not be allowed to enter, the justice ordered. The directions were issued a day before former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and her husband, Muhammad Safdar, are expected to be indicted by an accountability court. During the previous hearing of the graft cases against the Sharif family, the court had been forced to postponed the indictment till Oct 19 after PML-N lawyers and supporters forcibly entered the court’s building and created mayhem. Just as the accountability court judge, Justice Muhammad Bashir, had entered his courtroom, a number of lawyers associated with the PML-N had forced their way inside and surrounded the judge’s bench, loudly complaining that they had been manhandled by security forces outside the court and prevented from entering the courtroom. In his letter to the District Magistrate, the judge ordered that a Quick Response Force should be stationed outside the court to check “any untoward incident in the courtroom.”

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