NAB references: Court asks Nawaz to hire legal counsel till June 19

Nawaz laments talk about placing name on ECL

Islamabad

An accountability court on Tuesday gave Nawaz Sharif time till June 19 to hire a new lawyer.
Haris had recused himself from representing the former prime minister in all three corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the Sharif family, after the Supreme Court earlier directives to wrap up the trial within a month.
As the hearing of the Avenfield reference resumed Tuesday, Nawaz appeared before the court without his lawyer.
Judge Muhammad Bashir, who was hearing the reference, asked Nawaz if he wanted to hire another legal counsel or continue with Haris — whose recusal request has not yet been accepted.
To this, Nawaz answered that the decision was not an easy one.
“A lawyer worked hard on this case for nine months; it is not an easy decision,” Nawaz told the court.
The deposed prime minister lamented that his lawyer had informed the court of his inability to work on Saturdays and Sundays.
“Nearly hundred attendances have been marked in the case,” Nawaz stated. “Is this case going to be heard 24 hours a day and seven days a week?”
“Is there any similar example?” Nawaz questioned.
The court then adjourned the hearing of Avenfield reference till June 14 (Thursday) and exempted the former premier and his daughter, Maryam, from appearing for the hearing.
The hearing of Al-Azizia reference was later adjourned till June 19.
Talking to media after his court appearance , Nawaz Sharif said, he has the right to choose his counsel in the corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against the Sharif family.
“If this is a fair trial, then I have the right to choose my lawyer,” the former premier said.
The former premier said, “There is talk regarding placing my name on the Exit Control List (ECL).”
Lamenting that he may be barred from leaving the country, Nawaz said, “Those who broke the backbone of terrorists are being placed on ECL while those who brought terrorism to the country are being removed from the list.”
“Those who disrespected the Constitution are being welcomed,” the former premier asserted.
NAB on Monday requested the Ministry of Interior to place Nawaz, daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (Retd) Safdar’s names on the ECL.
This was NAB’s second letter on the matter. It also requested the interior ministry to place Hasan and Hussain Nawaz on the ECL.
The NAB in a letter on Feb 14 had put forward the same request.
The anti-graft body in its latest letter maintained that: “The matter is agitated again in view of the fact that reference against the subject accused persons are at the final stage of the trial. There is apprehension that they may leave the country to avoid legal outcomes of the judgment which are expected to be announced shortly.”

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