Accountability Court to announce verdict against Nawaz Sharif today


ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Monday (today) will deliver its judgment in Flagship Investment and Al-Aziziya references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif in line with Supreme Court ruling in Panama Papers case.
The accountability court judge Muhammad Arshad Malik had reserved the judgment after completion of hearing in the Flagship Investment and Al-Azizia cases against 68-year-old Sharif last week.
Sharif will be present in the accountability court to hear the judgment in the corruption cases commonly known as Al Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment references, launched by the country s corruption watchdog National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in September 2017 on the top court s directives.
The PML-N members of the National Assembly and workers have been instructed to move to the court in Islamabad.
Besides, PMLN’s Tariq Fazal Chaudhary and Anjum Aqeel are given responsibilities of coordinating with local leaders and municipal representatives for motorcade and expression of unity amongst their leaders. Other leaders including Chaudhary Tanvir and Malik Ibrar would display their political force from Rawalpindi alongside their supporters.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in Islamabad and Rawalpindi ahead of announcement of verdicts by the accountability court on December 24 in two references Al-Azizia and Flagship filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against former premier Nawaz Sharif.
Reportedly, enhanced security plan includes deployment of heavy contingent of security forces including rangers and 1,000 police officers, particularly around the accountability court’s premises in Islamabad to curb a possible resistance by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s supporters.
Moreover, only Sharif and his lawyers will be allowed to enter the court room.
The accountability court had indicted Sharif for holding assets beyond his known sources of income in August 2017.
Last week, the judge rejected application by Sharif s lawyer Khawaja Harris to provide one week time to submit more documents but allowed him to provide any document by Friday last.
The PML-N supremo had been sentenced to 10 years in jail in a corruption case by an accountability court in May this year, however, the Islamabad High Court suspended the conviction in September.
The three-time former prime minister and his family have denied any wrongdoing.
Sharif, who religiously followed the proceeding by appearing before the court for at least 78 times, told the media after the court reserved the judgment last week that he not committed any corruption.
“Not a penny of corruption has been proven against meI am very happy that I have done my duty, and I think that since I have stepped in politics I have never indulged in corruption nor have misused my power,” he said.
Veteran politician Javed Hashmi on Saturday predicted that Sharif will be convicted in the Flagship and Al-Azizia case as “the institutions won t let these (cases) prove false”.
Talking to the media in Multan, he said that the purpose of the NAB was to make politicians change their political loyalties.


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