Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday dashed back home from London to appear in court for his trial in corruption cases. Three cases were launched against him last September following a verdict by the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case on July 28 that disqualified him as prime minister. Sharif was accompanied by his daughter Maryam who also came from London, and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar, as he arrived in court here to attend the hearing.
The corruption cases against the Sharif family pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties. Accountability court Judge Mohammad Bashir began the proceedings in the Al-Azizia Steel Mill case but had to adjourn it until tomorrow due to absence of a key witness. The judge also allowed the Sharifs to go but announced the court would hear the Avenfield case at 2 pm. Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law are accused in the case over properties in the Avenfield area of London.
Earlier, Sharif and Maryam were welcomed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) workers at the airport in Islamabad as they arrived from London where they had gone on Wednesday to see Sharif’s ailing wife. Sharif and his sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three cases whereas Maryam and Safdar are co-accused in the Avenfield case only. The two brothers have not appeared in court since proceedings began last year.
The political future of Sharif, who leads the country’s most powerful political family and the ruling PML-N party, has been hanging in the balance since his ouster. If convicted, he can be jailed. Sharif’s family alleges the cases are politically motivated.