Former PM Nawaz Sharif gestures as he leaves after a press conference of his daughter Maryam Nawaz in Islamabad on May 29, 2018. Photo: AFP

The Supreme Court should hang me or send me to jail, said former PM Nawaz Sharif said on Tuesday.

He said that the top court should get the corruption references against his family transferred to itself. “Then give whatever verdict they like,” he said.

The former PM appeared before the accountability court for the Avenfield reference hearing against his family.

“Have you hired another lawyer?” asked Muhammad Bashir, the judge of the accountability court. He told Mr Sharif to either convince Khawaja Haris to resume representing him as his counsel or get another lawyer.

“We are looking for another lawyer,” replied Mr Sharif. “It’s not an easy task. Khawaja sahib was fully prepared for the case. We have been coming to the court for the past nine months. These days, we leave for the court right after sehri.”

“We have not accepted Khawaja sahib’s plea,” said the judge. “The [Supreme Court] order does not say that hearings are compulsory on Saturdays and Sundays.”

“Judges remarked that I speak about my wife’s illness to get media coverage,” said the former PM. “It was painful to see this.”

On Sunday, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar ordered the NAB court to wind up the hearings of all three corruption references against the Sharif family in a month. The Supreme Court rejected the plea of Khawaja Haris, who asked for six weeks to complete the trial. A day later, Haris withdrew from representing the former PM in the cases. He appeared before the accountability court on Monday along with Mr Sharif.

On the other hand, Mr Sharif consulted with the lawyer of Maryam Nawaz, Amjad Pervez, at the accountability court. Maryam Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar also arrived at the court for the hearing.

The Supreme Court had disqualified then PM Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case on July 27, 2017, from holding public office. The deposed PM’s name did not appear in the Panama Papers. The papers linked, however, his children to offshore companies and properties. The court ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to investigate into the Sharif family’s wealth as there was “insufficient evidence” to oust the PM over allegations pertaining to his family’s wealth. NAB filed three corruption references against Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Hasan Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar. The Sharif family denies involvement in any kind of corruption.

Originally Posted on SamaaNews


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