Islamabad accountability court rejects NAB’s petition on use of fake deeds in Avenfield case

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An Islamabad accountability court on Friday rejected the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) application seeking investigation from Maryam Nawaz regarding the use of a bogus trust deed in the Avenfield properties case.
The court had issued summons for Maryam on July 9 after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) moved an application before accountability judge Mohammad Bashir.
Judge Muhammad Bashir rejected NAB’s application, calling it unmaintainable on the basis of the fact that Maryam Nawaz already has an appeal against the Avenfield properties verdict filed in the Islamabad High Court.
Today, Maryam Nawaz was present in court for the hearing. During the arguments, NAB’s deputy prosecutor general Sardar Muzaffar Khan Abbasi told the court that when the verdict in the case was presented, the bench had said that the matter of use of fake documents would be looked at separately.
To this, Maryam’s lawyer retorted that NAB only had 30 days to appeal in the matter, but the bureau had taken more than a year to do so. “It is late but [the] right [thing to do],” Abbasi retorted. To this Maryam’s lawyer said that one cannot always be right.
After hearing the arguments, the accountability judge dismissed NAB’s application and said that the matter could not be taken further until the high court rules on Maryam Nawaz’s pending petition.
Earlier today, Maryam left Jati Umrah to make her way to Islamabad in order to appear before the court. As usual, a large number of PML-N supporters gathered in Islamabad to welcome the PML-N vice president. At least 17 PML-N workers were also arrested by the police for protesting outside the accountability court.
Upon reaching the court, Maryam responded to a reporter’s question regarding the workers’ arrest by saying: “Those who had paralysed the capital for 126 days should be ashamed of such acts [of arresting PML-N workers]. Their fear of Maryam Nawaz preceded my presence in the capital. If you were this afraid you should not have gotten selected.”
PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal and Murtaza Javed Abbasi were also stopped at the checkpost and kept from entering the accountability court premises.
This development has come over a year after Maryam’s conviction in the Avenfield properties reference.
On July 6, 2018, accountability judge Mohammad Bashir had convicted former premier Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz in Avenfield properties reference and sentenced them to 10 years and 07 years imprisonment, respectively.
In the verdict, judge Bashir had declared that “the trust deeds produced by the accused Maryam Nawaz were also found bogus… In view of the role of this accused Maryam Nawaz, she is convicted and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for seven years with fine of two million pounds.”
Subsequently, she was arrested and shifted to Adiala jail. Later, in September 2018, she was released from jail after the Islamabad High Court suspended her prison sentence.
Maryam Nawaz recently released a controversial video allegedly featuring a separate accountability judge, Mohammad Arshad Malik, who had convicted her father in the Al-Azizia reference. The release of the video has stirred controversy in political and judicial circles, with Maryam Nawaz claiming that the judge in question was blackmailed into delivering an adverse verdict against her father.
Since then, Judge Arshad Malik — who was removed from his post as an accountability judge by the Islamabad High Court — has denied the PML-N’s allegations and has registered an FIR against the party’s leadership.