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Sharif appears before court to face trial in graft cases

Press Trust of India, Islamabad, Jan 3 2018, 12:20 IST
Nawaz Sharif. REUTERS

Nawaz Sharif. REUTERS

Pakistan's ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday appeared before an anti-graft court to face trial in corruption cases against him in the Panama Papers scandal that forced him to resign.

Sharif (67) reached the court along with his daughter Maryam.

The former premier, who had left for Saudi Arabia on December 30 amid reports of a "deal" between the embattled Sharif family, returned to the country on Tuesday.

Three corruption cases were registered against him on September 8 following the Supreme Court verdict of July 28 that also disqualified Sharif as the prime minister and ordered National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for institution of cases.

The NAB produced two witnesses in the court on Wednesday who recorded their statements and defence layer also cross-examined them.

The three cases pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, several companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and London's Avenfield properties.

Sharif and some of his family members are facing charges relating to their overseas properties.

Last hearing of the case of was held on December 19.

So far, 10 witnesses have recorded their statement on behalf of the prosecution. This was the 11th time that Sharif has attended the hearing.

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.

Sharifs family claims that the cases are politically motivated.

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