It’s not easy to get another lawyer, Nawaz Sharif tells judge

It’s not easy to get another lawyer, Nawaz Sharif tells judge

ISLAMABAD: Former PM Nawaz Sharif told a judge on Tuesday that it’s not easy to get another lawyer.

“Have you hired another lawyer?” asked Muhammad Bashir, the judge of the accountability court.

“We are looking for another lawyer,” replied Mr Sharif. “It’s not an easy task. Khawaja sahib was fully prepared for the case. We have been coming to the court for the past nine months. These days, we leave for the court right after sehri.”

The former PM appeared before the accountability court for the Avenfield reference hearing against his family.

“We have not accepted Khawaja sahib’s plea,” said the judge. “The [Supreme Court] order does not say that hearings are compulsory on Saturdays and Sundays.”

On Sunday, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar ordered the NAB court to wind up the hearings of all three corruption references against the Sharif family in a month. The Supreme Court rejected the plea of Khawaja Haris, who asked for six weeks to complete the trial. A day later, Haris withdrew from representing the former PM in the cases. He appeared before the accountability court on Monday along with Mr Sharif.

On the other hand, Mr Sharif consulted with the lawyer of Maryam Nawaz, Amjad Pervez, at the accountability court. Maryam Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar also arrived at the court for the hearing.

The Supreme Court had disqualified then PM Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers case on July 27, 2017, from holding public office. The deposed PM’s name did not appear in the Panama Papers. The papers linked, however, his children to offshore companies and properties.

The court ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to investigate into the Sharif family’s wealth as there was “insufficient evidence” to oust the PM over allegations pertaining to his family’s wealth. NAB filed three corruption references against Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Hasan Nawaz and Capt (retd) Safdar. The Sharif family denies involvement in any kind of corruption. APP