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Accountability court expressed anger over absence of Nawaz Sharif

02 October, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Monday expressed anger over the absence of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his counsel Khawaja Haris from the hearing of Flagship Investment reference, a private TV channel reported.

Accountability Court-II Judge Arshad Malik heard the reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the former prime minister. The court had summoned Panamagate joint investigation team (JIT) head and prosecution witness Wajid Zia to record his statement. However, the statement could not be recorded as the former prime minister and his counsel did not appear for the hearing.

Expressing anger over their absence, the judge remarked, “A suspect cannot skip a hearing on his own will.” To this, NAB prosecutor Muzaffar Abbasi said, “Nawaz did not file a request for exemption from the hearing and wants to run the court as per his will.” In response, the deputy counsel said, “I do not want to use such words.” He informed the court that Kh Haris is not well.

The court then went on a brief break and once the hearing resumed, the judge expressed anger at the deputy counsel as Nawaz Sharif and Kh Haris had still not appeared. “Neither the suspect nor the counsel are present. Am I supposed to wait all day?” he asked. “I adjourned hearings of other cases to hear yours, please tell me what you all want,” he said. “I will write down an order and then you all keep challenging it,” he said. The deputy counsel said he is trying to contact Nawaz and asked for a few minutes to update the court. “Nawaz did not appear for the hearing as there was a misunderstanding owing to different dates fixed for hearings of Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references. If the court allows, Nawaz can appear in next two to three hours,” he told the court. The court then adjourned the hearing of the case till October 4.

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