Pakistan’s anti-graft court rejected Nawaz Sharif’s plea for clubbing 3 graft cases

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif speaks during a joint news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 12, 2015. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/File photo
Vastavam web: Pakistan’s anti-graft court today rejected ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s plea for clubbing together three corruption cases filed against him by the country s anti-corruption watchdog in the Panama Papers scandal.After the announcement of the judgement, Sharif was indicted separately in each of the three graft cases stemming from the Panama Papers leaks.Now, 67-year-old Sharif will have to face three separate trials with hearings stretching out for months.Heavy security arrangements were made and hundreds of security personnel deployed around the court premises to deal with any untoward situation.
Following the judgement, Sharif told media that today’s verdict would be written in “black words” in Pakistan’s history.”I knew that review petition will not be decided in my favour because the judges (who issued the verdict in review petition) are full of vengeance and the decision reflects vengeance and anger. This will become part of black pages of history. Sharif, his daughter Maryam and her husband Muhammad Safdar were present in the court to hear the verdict.
The accountability court had reserved its judgement yesterday after hearing the arguments by both sides.Judge Bashir in his verdict said that Supreme Court in its judgement had asked to institute three cases as they deal with different money trails and sources of money.The court heard the case for the second time after an order by the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which last week asked the trial judge to hear the cases and record the judgement in detail.”Now the trial will resume from where it was stopped to decide the application by Sharif, he said.
The accountability court on October 19 rejected a similar application by Sharif to convert three cases into one. The rejection was challenged in the IHC which referred the case to accountability court with direction to reconsider it.The Supreme Court yesterday said the disqualification of Sharif was “uncontroversial” and issued a detailed verdict rejecting review petitions filed by the Sharif family in the Panama Papers case.It is not clear whether Sharif would be present during the next hearing as he has already filed an application to let him appoint his pleader to represent him in his absence.