Islamabad court postpones arrest warrants for Nawaz’s sons until March 14 – Pakistan

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The Islamabad accountability court has decided to suspend the perpetual arrest warrants issued against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s sons, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz, until March 14 in connection with the three corruption references related to the Panama Papers. The decision was announced by Accountability Court Judge Nasir Javed Rana in the Avenfield reference.

The court noted that the accused persons, who are also the petitioners in the case, expressed their intention to surrender before the court in good faith to face court proceedings. The court agreed with the NAB prosecutor’s submission that the purpose of the perpetual warrant of arrest is to ensure the attendance of the accused, and if the accused intends to surrender, they should be given the opportunity to do so.

During the hearing, Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar, Usman Masood, and Sohail Arif appeared on behalf of the National Accountability Bureau. The defendants’ counsel argued that Hussain and Hassan were granted interim bail but still had perpetual arrest warrants issued against them. They informed the court that both wanted to return to Pakistan on March 12 and appear before the court, requesting the suspension of the arrest warrants.

The court had reserved its verdict after hearing arguments from both sides. In a previous hearing, it was mentioned that Hussain and Hassan were residents of Saudi Arabia and the UK and were nominated as accused persons alongside Nawaz, Maryam, and retired Captain Safdar in the references.

Nawaz and Maryam were convicted in the Avenfield reference before the previous general election, while Nawaz was also convicted in the Al-Azizia reference but acquitted in the Flagship Investment reference. After challenges and appeals, the IHC set aside their convictions. Nawaz returned to Pakistan last year, and his appeals were revived, resulting in the IHC setting aside his convictions in both cases.

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