Ousted Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif today warned his opponents that they would fail to “punish” him as he appeared before an anti-graft court for the 17th time to face trial in the Panama Papers scandal.
Sharif, 67, appeared before the Accountability Court Islamabad along with his daughter Maryam and son-in-law captain (retired) Mohmmad Safdar.
At the start of the hearing, the court was informed that lawyers are not attending courts to observe three-day mourning after the death of eminent lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jehangir who passed away in Lahore on Sunday.
Though the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor objected by saying that witnesses were present to record statements but Judge Muhammad Bashir adjourned hearing till February 15.
Sharif and some of his family members are facing charges relating to their ownership of posh properties in London.
He resigned as prime minister in July after the country’s Supreme Court disqualified him over undeclared income.
Three cases were registered by the NAB against Sharif, his children and son-in-law in the court on September 8.
Sharif in a brief interaction with the media said he was being victimised in the name of accountability.
“They (opponents) want to punish Nawaz (Sharif) but they do not have any evidence. That is why supplementary cases are being filed. But they will fail as people of Pakistan are with us,” he said.
Sharif also took a swipe at courts for failing to bring back to the country former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who is living in Dubai by dodging several cases against him.
The political future of Sharif, who leads the country’s most powerful political family and the ruling PML-N party, has been hanging in balance since then. If convicted, Sharif can be jailed
Sharif’s family alleges that the cases are politically motivated.