Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif
Former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif

Avenfield case verdict postponed to 3 pm

ANI | Updated: Jul 06, 2018 15:31 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], Jul 6 (ANI): The accountability court on Friday has once again deferred the much-awaited verdict in the Avenfield corruption case against former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family till 3 p.m. (local time) (3:30 pm IST)
This is the third time the verdict has been delayed.
Earlier, the court was scheduled to announce its verdict at 12:30 pm (local time) today, after which it was delayed by another two hours, The Dawn reported.
The Sharifs had filed an application on Thursday requesting the court to delay the verdict in the Avenfield reference and grant a seven-day exemption in the wake of Nawaz's wife, Begum Kulsoom Nawaz's deteriorating health.
The accountability court on Friday dismissed Sharif's plea for a delay in the announcement of the verdict in the Avenfield corruption case against his family.
Amjad Pervez, counsel of Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam, argued that the law stipulates the presence of the accused when the verdict is read out.
Meanwhile, strict security arrangements have been made at the Federal Judicial Complex, where the court is located. Section 144 has been imposed in Islamabad to discourage mass gatherings ahead of the verdict, as per media reports.
Nawaz Sharif and Maryam are currently in London visiting Kulsoom Nawaz, who is suffering from cancer and is undergoing treatment there.
On June 14, both Sharif and his daughter left for the United Kingdom after they were granted a brief exemption from the ongoing trial.
Citing the condition of Kulsoom, Sharif moved an application for exemption from personal attendance on June 19 and was granted relief till until June 23.
The second application for exemption was filed on June 25, and the court granted the same for three days.
Sharif's counsel sought exemption once again from July 2 to 9, which has been turned down by the court.
Both Sharif and his daughter were supposed to return to Pakistan by June 27.
Nawaz Sharif and his family are facing trial in three corruption cases filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), which are Avenfield properties, Gulf Steel Mills and Al-Azizia Steel Mills.
The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14 last year.
Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references, whereas Maryam and her husband Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference.
If Maryam and Safdar are convicted in the case, they will be barred from contesting the general elections on July 25. (ANI)