Nawaz Sharif issued non bailable arrest warrant in Toshakhana reference

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Nawaz Sharif issued non bailable arrest warrant in Toshakhana reference

ISLAMABAD-An Accountability Court (AC) Thursday issued non bailable arrest warrant against former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif due to continuous disappearance in 'Toshakhana' vehicles reference.

The court, however, granted one-day exemption from hearing to former president Asif Ali Zardari in the same reference.

AC-III Judge Syed Asghar Ali conducted the hearing on reference against two former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif, Yousaf Raza Gilani and ex-president Asif Ali Zardari pertaining to illegal use of 'Toshakhana' vehicles during Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)'s tenure. Yousaf Raza Gilani, Abdul Ghani Majeed, National Accountability Bureau (NAB)'s prosecutor Sardar Muzafar Abbasi and NAB investigation officer appeared before the court.

At the outset of hearing, the NAB prosecutor prayed the court to initiate action against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on his continuous absence from the proceeding.

He said the summon notices against the accused could be given through advertisement in newspapers abroad. He said the NAB investigation officer himself visited the residence of accused in Jatti Umra where the guard informed him that Nawaz Sharif was not there.

He said Nawaz was living in Avenfield Apartments in London, adding that the NAB had obtained the travel record of the accused.

To this, the court issued non bailable arrest warrants against Nawaz Sharif and ordered the Foreign Office to implement the summon notice to accused through Pakistan High Commission in United Kingdom (UK).

On query of judge regarding the appearance of Zardari, his lawyer Farouk H Naek pleaded that former president could not appear before the court due to coronavirus outbreak in the country and prayed the court to avoid summoning his client in person. He said Zardari had been appearing before courts earlier.

The judge asked the lawyer to provide address of Zardari in Karachi so that a notice could be served to him.

Meanwhile, Yousaf Raza Gilani filed a plea seeking permanent exemption from hearing to avoid risk of coronavirus. He said he had been attending the court regularly. The court served notice to NAB and sought its comments on the matter.