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July 20, 2019

NAB plea against Maryam on ‘bogus’ deed tossed out

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July 20, 2019

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court has dismissed the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) application seeking a separate trial for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz for submitting an allegedly fake trust deed in the Avenfield properties reference.

Dismissing the plea on Friday, the court said a trial could not be initiated on the matter until the Islamabad High Court (IHC) takes a decision on the Sharif family’s appeal against the Avenfield properties judgment.

Maryam appeared before Accountability Court-I Judge Muhammad Bashir in compliance with a summons over the NAB petition. At the outset of the hearing, NAB’s Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi argued that the accused had submitted an application during the trial in which they said “the matter of fake trust deed did not fall in jurisdiction of NAB” and requested the court to view this matter separately after the verdict in the Avenfield case.

He stated the court had accepted the request and wrote in its decision that the trial regarding the fake deed would be conducted after the judgment. However, the accused did not challenge this part of the verdict before the Islamabad High Court, he further added.

The NAB prosecutor argued that the trial court itself could initiate a proceeding against anyone within 30 days on the submission of “fake evidence”. However, the time limit could not apply in this matter, he said, adding that the NAB had submitted an application “just for court reminder”.

Maryam arrived at rostrum and asked, while addressing the judge, “why the prosecution took one year to remind the trial court”. At this, NAB prosecutor said: “Better late than never.”

On the judge’s query, Abbasi stated that the Supreme Court had written in its decision that “the trial court can take necessary action if it found the mentioned documents as fake”.Maryam’s counsel Amjad Pervez contended that the NAB had submitted such an application for the first time, adding that the court could take action in 30 days in accordance with the law on the prosecution’s request.

However, the court could itself see the matter after the Islamabad High Court’s judgment on appeals against the main verdict. He argued that the NAB’s petition was “non-maintainable” and prayed the court to dismiss the same.

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