Nawaz, daughter request exemption from court proceedings to visit Begum Kulsoom

Legal fraternity assures support to ex-PM Nawaz Sharif in his struggle for democracy and sanctity of vote

Court reserves verdict on Nawaz, Maryam exemption pleas as hearing adjourned till Nov 22

The ousted premier and his daughter requested that they be exempted from appearing in court the week after November 20 which will be spent in the company of his ailing wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz, who he has "been with for 40 years now". However, she requested the court allow Jahangir Jadoon to represent her in court in case she had to leave the country in case of an emergency.

The court started the trial even though the Islamabad High Court had accepted on Tuesday Sharif's application, in which he had challenged accountability court's refusal to club all three references into one.

NAB prosecutor also filed record and audit report of the Hudaibiya Papers Mills.

Ahmad has been called to appear in court again on November 22 for cross-questioning in the next hearing of the case.

In her application, Maryam said that she will attend the hearing whenever the court will summon her.

Moreover, Hussain and Hasan Nawaz were also declared proclaimed offenders.

The accountability court resumed on Wednesday hearing against the deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and Captain (retd) Safdar, regarding three corruption cases filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He hoped that their struggle would lead to logical conclusion.

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A number of workers and leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz were present inside and outside the court premises to welcome the party president.

In an informal chat with media persons outside the court, the former Prime Minister said there should be no double standards in dispensation of justice. Later, he rejected Sharif's plea to club all three references into one and indicted Sharif separately in each of the three references.

The references against the Sharif family pertain to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, their London properties and over dozen offshore companies owned by the family.

The Pakistan Supreme Court had asked the NAB to file references against the Sharif family in connection with their Avenfield and other properties on July 28 and directed the trial court to decide the references within six months.

The petitioner has also requested the IHC to take up the plea as soon as possible and dismiss the trial court's order. At an earlier hearing, the court also approved Maryam and Safdar's bail in the Avenfiled properties case and ordered them to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.

If convicted, the accused may face up to 14 years imprisonment and lifelong disqualification from holding public office including the freezing of bank accounts and assets.

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