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Nawaz, Maryam request AC to postpone verdict for seven days

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July 6, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Former Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz here on Thursday filed applications before the Accountability Court No 1 (AC-1) for postponement of the verdict in Avenfield corruption reference that AC is expected to announce today (Friday).

In applications, Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz said that they want to hear the verdict while being present in the courtroom but they cannot come to Pakistan due to ailing Kalsoom Nawaz and they are waiting for her recovery.

They requested the court to postpone the trial for seven days and exemptions from court proceedings may also be granted to them for the same period. Applicants also attached latest medical report of Kalsoom Nawaz with their application.

Junior counsels to the lead counsel Khawaja Haris Ahmed, Zaafir Khan Tareen and Saad Hashmi advocates filed application on behalf of Nawaz while Amjad Pervez advocate for Maryam Nawaz. Applications were heard by duty judge Muhammad Arshad Malik due to the leave of AC-1 judge Muhammad Bashir.

Duty judge directed applicant’s counsel to place these applications before the AC-1 judge today. AC-1 judge Muhammad Bashir on July 3 reserved the verdict and said that the decision will be announced on Friday (July 6).

As per the attached medical reports signed by Dr David Lawrence, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon of Harley Street Clinic, London, where Kuloom she remains ventilator dependent. Dr David said in the report that “her (Kalsoom’s) CT scan performed on Wednesday, 20th of June 2018, confirmed the diagnosis of small pulmonary emoli and remains anticoagulated with Clexane now. She is single organ failure only. She requires no cardiac support. Having optimised her lung function, I have performed a tracheotomy on her today the July 3, 2018.”

The doctors said in the report, “We plan to reduce her sedation tomorrow and wake her over 48 hours. The continued presence and support of her family are imperative.”

Nawaz in his application said that he travelled to London on June 14 for the purposes of tending to his ailing wife, Kulsoom Nawaz, who is suffering from cancer and has been undergoing treatment there.

Upon arrival in London, the applicant discovered that his wife had suffered a cardiac arrest; she had been put on a life-supporting ventilator; she had been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU); and she was in an extremely critical condition.

The applicant had intended to return to Pakistan as it was expected that by this date his wife would have sufficiently recovered so as to be able to communicate with her and he would thereby be in a position to sufficiently put her mind at rest as well as his own before returning to Pakistan. Unfortunately, however, he said, even till today his wife is unconscious and ventilator dependant. Due to the gravity of the situation, he was once again left with no option but to extend stay in London and remain with the patient till she regained consciousness and was no longer ventilator dependent.

The doctors after taking the consent and approval of the family members of Kalsoom Nawaz performed tracheotomy on her on July 3, 2018 and the results of the tracheotomy are awaited and Kalsoom is still ventilator dependent.

Nawaz and Maryam said that when they received the information that the Avenfield reference decision has been fixed for announcement of “order/judgment on July 6, 2018, their immediate concern was to return to Pakistan to be present before court at the time of pronouncement of judgment”.

However, considering all contingencies associated with the pronouncement of judgment in the case, they approached the team of doctors and sought advice on Kalsoom’s condition, and, especially, the likelihood of her gaining consciousness and coming off ventilator-support, so that in case of any likelihood of improvement in her condition in the near future, they may stay back just to be able to speak to her and satisfy themselves of her well being.

The applicants said that the doctors treating the Kalsoom have opined that her condition is improving and that they plan to reduce her sedation on July 4, 2018 and wake her over next 48 hours. Also, the doctors, have advised that the continued presence and support of her family are imperative.

They said that in these circumstances they are constrained to extend their stay in London. Nawaz in the application said that several judgments and orders were reserved in the past for too long while postponement of this judgment for few days will not violate any law.

They have prayed to the court to postpone the date of announcement of order/judgment in the reference for a minimum of seven days period with effect.

Now it is on AC-1 judge whether or not he postpone announcement of the judgment.

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