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International News
Sharif's sons to skip anti-corruption court hearing?
 
Islamabad, Oct 10 (PTI) Ousted Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif's two sons, currently in London, may not appear before the anti-corruption court, taking advantage of their foreign residency, leaders of the ruling PML-N have indicated.

The Accountability Court is trying Hussain and Hassan Nawaz along with their father Nawaz Sharif, sister Maryam and brother-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, in corruption cases filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the Supreme Court's instruction in the Panama Papers case.

Talking to reporters after a hearing yesterday, Maryam said that her brothers would make their own decision regarding their appearance before the court.

Since both of them reside abroad, the local laws did not apply on them, the Express Tribune quoted her as saying.

Sharif had to step down as prime minister and president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court on July 28 in the Panama Papers scandal.

Marriyam Aurangzeb, the Minister of State for Information, also told reporters that Hussain and Hassan were both foreign residents and the law that applies on those doing business abroad also applied on the two.

Hussain and Hassan have not appeared before the court on any hearing since the trial began last month. On the previous hearing the court had issued non-bailable arrest warrants against them yet they skipped the hearing yesterday.

Hussain and Hassan left for London to be with their mother, Kulsoom, who is battling throat cancer.

While Nawaz Sharif returned from London to Pakistan on September 25, his daughter Maryam and her husband Safdar arrived in Islamabad on Monday to appear before the Accountability Court. Maryam and Safdar were granted bail yesterday in the Panama Papers case.

Now, the court had declared them absconders and decided to separate their trial from the rest of their family members Sharif, Maryam and Safdar. Accountability judge Muhammad Bashir granted bail to Maryam and Safdar and also exempted Sharif from Monday's hearing.

The Accountability Court has set October 13 for indictment of Nawaz Sharif, Maryam and Safdar.

Aurangzeb said that despite one-and-half-year trial over the Panama Papers case, nothing concrete was found against the former prime minister.

"When they could not find any evidence, they disqualified him on the Iqama (work permit) issue," she contended.

Though the former prime minister had reservations over the entire process, the state minister said, they appeared before the courts to show respect for the Constitution and law.


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