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Nawaz Sharif’s trial in two pending graft cases adjourned to August 1

By Madhuri Adnal
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    Islamabad, July 31: An accountability court in Pakistan has adjourned the hearing of two pending corruption cases against jailed prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family till August 1.

    Nawaz Sharif

    Earlier, the hearing was adjourned till July 30 after defence counsel Khawaja Haris boycotted proceedings pending an Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict on transferring both petitions to another court, the Dawn reported.

    Sharif, 68, along with his daughter Maryam, 44 and his son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar are serving jail terms of 10-years, seven years and one year respectively in Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, after an accountability court convicted them on July 6 over the family's ownership of four luxury flats in London.

    The former prime minister has two more pending corruption cases -- the Al-Azizia steel mills and Flagship Investments -- against him in which they are accused of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets.

    Pakistan's caretaker government on July 18 had approved the open trial of Sharif in the remaining two graft cases against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), withdrawing an earlier notification about his jail trial.

    After the arrest of Sharif and his daughter Maryam on July 13, the government had earlier announced that the trial in the two pending cases would be held in jail.

    But his brother and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Shahbaz Sharif objected to it claiming that it was against the law.

    After the controversy over jail trial, the caretaker Cabinet decided to revert to open trial, providing media with a chance to cover it.

    Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court last year in the Panama Papers case.

    Meanwhile, Sharif's hospital ward has been declared as a sub-jail after Pakistan's former prime minister was admitted to the premier Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences following health complications.

    Doctors had requested prison authorities to transfer Sharif to a hospital after he developed serious cardiac complications.

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