RAWALPINDI - The Lahore High Court Rawalpindi Bench adjourned the hearing till Tuesday (today), three corruption references filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Sharif brothers after the defence counsel argued that the bureau wanted to dent the political repute of PML-N leaders just before the general elections.
The two-member bench of LHC comprised Justice Khawaja Imtiaz Ahmed and Muhammad Farrukh Irfan, earlier took up the petition seeking annulment of corruption references on Monday.
Salman Butt, the lawyer representing former Premier Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, apprised the bench that NAB approached the court in 2007 to reopen the three references when PML-N leaders announced to return to Pakistan just before the 2008 general elections.
He said that NAB only wanted to launch a malicious campaign against the Sharif brothers as the accused never caused any interruption in the prosecution and investigations.
For over seven years the prosecution did not try to restart the three corruption references adjourned sine die in 2000 when the PML-N leaders were exiled, Salman said.
After the NAB moved application in August 2007 for resumption of the cases they sought adjournments from the trial court stating that the permission of bureau’s Chairman was required to formally reopen the pending references, he argued,adding,it was in October last year that the high court stopped the NAB and the accountability trial court from proceeding against the accused as long as their petition against the references was pending in the LHC Rawalpindi Bench.
NAB, it in its written reply submitted before the court had maintained that the prosecution had enough material on record to proceed against the accused.
PML-N President Mian Nawaz Sharif, CM Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif, Mian Abbas Sharif, Hussain Nawaz, Hamza Shahbaz, Haroon Pasha and Senator Ishaq Dar are co-accused in Hudabia Paper Mills corruption reference of securing huge amount as loan in the name of mill and later utilised it for other purposes.
In Ittefaq Foundry corruption reference, Mian Nawaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, Mukhtar Hassan, Kamal Qureshi and couple of other persons were accused of securing big loans and abusing the loans causing loss of millions to the national kitty.
The PML-N stalwarts including Mian Nawaz Sharif, Mian Shahbaz Sharif, their father late Mian Sharif, mother Shamim Akhtar and other family members are co- accused in assets reference case.