A Pakistani accountability court today inched closer to declare the London-based sons of ousted premier Nawaz Sharif as proclaimed offenders in the Panama Papers case. Three cases were filed against Sharif, his two sons Hassan and Husain, daughter Maryam and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar on September 8 by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) following July 28 verdict by the Supreme Court in the Panam Papers case. Another case was filed against finance minister Ishaq Dar based on the court ruling. Accountability Court Judge Muhammad Bashir last month separated the case of Sharif’s sons from rest of the family and also initiated proceeding to declare them proclaimed offenders as the two brothers, currently in London, have not appeared in the court even once. The court also declared them absconders on October 10 and set a deadline of 30 days for them to appear in the court which has already expired. The NAB prosecutor today presented implementation report on declaring them proclaimed offenders. They also urged the court to declare them proclaimed offenders. However, the judge adjourned the proceeding till tomorrow without announcing his decision.
The brothers live in London and are accused in all three cases — Avenfield properties, Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and Flagship Investment Ltd. The court has already issued non-bailable arrest warrants against the two brothers. Sharif’s wife, Kulsoom, is currently in London, undergoing treatment for throat cancer. Meanwhile, the court also took up the hearing of trial against Dar who is in London to seek medical treatment for heart complications.
However, it adjourned hearing till afternoon at the request of Dar’s lawyer, who had to appear in the High Court in another case. Dar has already been indicted and his trial began last month.