By Sajjad Hussain
Islamabad, Oct 26 (PTI) Pakistan’s anti-corruption court today issued a bailable arrest warrant against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif in two cases of corruption spiralling from the Panama Papers leak.
The accountability court issued the arrest warrant against Sharif after he failed to appear in the court in two graft cases the Flagship Investment case and the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment case.
Sharif, 67, is in London with his wife Kalsum who is undergoing cancer treatment, and has not returned to Pakistan for the court hearing since he was indicted in the graft allegations.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on September 8 registered three cases against Sharif, his children and son- in-law in the Accountability Court here following a verdict by the Supreme Court, which disqualified him after an investigation into corruption allegations against his family.
Sharif’s daughter Maryam and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar appeared in the court but Sharif was absent and his lawyer Khawaja Haris asked the court to exempt him from appearance, according to a court official.
NAB deputy prosecutor general Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi opposed the application and said that already the court granted Sharif 15-day exemption that expired on October 24.
He accused Sharif of delaying tactics.
The court after hearing arguments rejected the plea and issued bailable arrest against him in Al-Azizi Steel and Flagship Investment corruption cases and issued notices to Sharif s guarantor in Avenfield reference case as he was already given bail in the case.
The court adjourned hearing in all three cases till November 3.
The court last week indicted Sharif in three cases in his absence.
The court during the hearing on October 9 decided to separate the trial of his two sons — Husain and Hasan — from Sharif and his daughter and son-in-law.
It also had ordered to start the process of declaring proclaimed offender to Husain and Hasan for failing to appear before the court.
Heavy security arrangements were made and more than 400 security personnel deployed to deal with any untoward situation.
The cases are based on July 28 verdict by the Supreme Court which disqualified Sharif and ordered to launch three corruption cases against him and his family, and one case against finance minister Ishaq Dar.
Dar has already been indicted and his trial has been going on.