Vastavam web: Pakistan’s jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif today appeared before an accountability court hearing corruption cases against him and his family, the first court appearance in the remaining two graft cases following his incarceration.Following the hearing, the accountability court Judge Arshad Malik adjourned the hearing and summoned the investigation officer of the cases on August 15.
For the first time since his jailing, 68-year-old Sharif appeared before the Islamabad-based court for hearing in the two graft cases – the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and the Hill Metal Establishment case.Sharif was brought to the court in an armoured vehicle and was taken back to the high-security jail after the hearing.Strict security measures were taken on the occasion and authorities even banned the entry of the media.
Meanwhile, gun shots were heard outside as Sharif appeared before the court.”A shot was fired by anti-riot force policeman,” a police official said. “We are looking into the matter to know why the gun was loaded,” he added.Three corruption cases were filed against Sharif and family last year following a decision by Supreme Court on July 28 of the same year. The formal trial of the Sharif family started on September 14 and was to be completed in six months but later the deadline was extended at least thrice.Apart from Sharif, his two sons -Hassan and Hussian are also co-accused on all three corruption cases.
The court has already declared the two sons as absconders due to their persistent failure to appear before the court. They have been blacklisted by the authorities, barring them from travelling on their Pakistani passports. The ownership of the four London flats by the Sharif family surfaced in the Panama Papers in April 2016, indicating that the posh properties were managed through offshore companies owned by Sharif’s children.