Nawaz Sharif's son likely to be indicted in Accountability Court today

The trial will get affected due to the absence of two accused the judge said

Two prosecution witness statements were recorded against ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired captain Muhammad Safdar in an accountability court as a trial pertaining to three National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references against them went underway on Wednesday.

Moreover, Hussain and Hasan Nawaz were declared proclaimed offenders due to their continuous absence.

A five-member bench of the Supreme Court on July 28 had directed NAB to file references against Nawaz and his children in six weeks in the accountability court and directed the trial court to decide the references within six months.

However, Sidra Mansoor has recorded his statement before the court today. Earlier, the high court had accepted a petition and ordered on Nov 3 that the matter should be decided by the trial court. The witness informed the judge that she appeared before the NAB Lahore team on August 18 and furnished all required documents regarding various business of Sharifs.

On the other hand, Nawaz and Maryam has filed a plea seeking exemption from appearance.

The minister said there was no allegation or prove of corruption against Nawaz Sharif.

The hearing was then adjourned until November 22, when four more prosecution witnesses have been summoned.

Ahmed also submitted the Sharif family's income tax returns in court.

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Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz filed two separate petitions in the Court seeking immunity from appearances before the NAB Court.

Responding to a journalist's question inside the court about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan's bail approval by the anti-terrorism court (ATC) yesterday, Nawaz said, "the courts have double standards". However, Nawaz denied all the charges pleading not guilty, saying that the proceeding was initiated on political basis.

On Nov 8, the accountability court's Judge Muhammad Bashir rejected the Sharif's application for joint trial and framed charges against him in each of the three references.

Nawaz has challenged the decision in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) through his lawyer Azam Tarar, stating that the verdict was given in haste and the accountability court did not take into account the points in the earlier IHC verdict.

Safdar was also directed to take the court's permission before leaving the country from now on.

During the hearing headed by Justice Mohammad Bashir, the officer said that all the departments have been contacted to seek details of Mr Hassan and Mr Hussain's property while officer Mohammad Kamran's statement has also been recorded in Flagship Investment reference.

If convicted, the accused may face up to 14 years imprisonment and lifelong disqualification from holding public office including the freezing of bank accounts and assets.

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