Maryam exempted from appearing before IHC


ISLAMABAD:

The Islamabad High Court on Thursday granted PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz exemption from appearing before the court for the day in the hearing of appeals against the Avenfield Apartments reference verdict as she was busy campaigning for her party in the upcoming Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) elections.

A two-judge bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kayani also issued directions to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to provide the appellants – Maryam and her husband Capt (retd) Safdar — with the missing documents.

The court told NAB and Amjad Pervaiz, the lawyer representing Maryam and Safdar, to reach the registrar’s office and indicate the missing papers.

Earlier, Pervaiz told the court that the case pertained to the information disclosed in the Panama Leaks in 2016.

The premier at that time was Maryam’s father Nawaz Sharif. The Supreme Court was approached for the disqualification of Sharif on the grounds that he owned four apartments in Avenfield. The top court then formed a joint investigation team to determine the ownership of the apartments.

The JIT submitted it report to the Supreme Court on July 10, 2017.

Copies of the report were not provided to the parties.

On July 28, 2017, the top court disqualified Sharif not on corruption but on non-declaration of receivable salary.

The court inquired whether or not Maryam and Safdar had appeared before the JIT. Their lawyer replied in the affirmative.

The court asked whether or not the statements recorded by the appellants were verified before NAB.

Pervaiz replied that his clients had read the notice sent to them by NAB and in consultation with their legal team had sent back their response.

He added that he had pointed this out because the trial court had punished his clients for not cooperating in the investigation.

The court inquired as to whether or not the appellants were in custody at the time the reference was filed.

The lawyer replied that Sharif and Maryam returned to the country from the UK and surrendered after the trial court announced its verdict.

He added that a petition was filed to obtain the missing volume of the JIT report but it was rejected by the court.

The lawyer said the indictment against Maryam and Safdar was also amended.

“The amendment was only to the extent of what constitutes a crime on the charge of calling a trust deed fake,” he added.

The hearing on the appeals was adjourned till July 29.

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