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Avenfield reference: NAB urges IHC to cancel bails of Maryam, Safdar

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Tuesday filed a petition before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking the cancellation of post-arrest bails granted to the PML-N Vice President, Maryam Nawaz, and her husband Captain Muhammad Safdar (retired) in the Avenfield properties reference.

The anti-graft watchdog moved the petition through its special prosecutor Barrister Usman G Rashid and cited Maryam Nawaz, Muhammad Safdar, and the federation through secretary Ministry of Interior as respondents.

In its petition, the NAB said that Maryam and Safdar misused the bail concession.

It added that Maryam delivered “hate speeches” against the NAB and the suspects’ conduct caused pressure on the witnesses seeking to testify against them.

The bureau added that its Lahore office was attacked during the PML-N leaders’ appearance before investigation officers.

It further said Maryam considers every NAB appearance a political theater and converts the courtroom into a press club, and she does not care about court decorum.

The petition also said that after each NAB appearance, the PML-N leader passes inflammatory remarks against high-ranked officials and the anti-graft watchdog.

It told the court that an accountability court had handed over seven years imprisonment sentence and £2 million fine to Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield properties corruption reference on July 6, 2018 and the PML-N leader had also been disqualified for any public office by the accountability court.

The ‘bureau contended that since 19 September 2018 till date, the convicted accused have deliberately and maliciously misused the concession of suspension of sentence/ post-conviction bail.

It argued that convicted accused throughout the course of criminal appeals have behaved in a manner that undermines the respect, sanctity, and authority of this court.

“They routinely show contempt towards the customary rules of respect and reverence underlying the functioning of Superior Courts. Their brazen disregard to the decorum of this Court is akin to obstructing the process of law which has also consistently been noted by this Court on more than one dates of hearing.”

Therefore, the NAB prayed before the court that the bails granted to Maryam and Safdar on September 19, 2018 by suspending the execution of sentence awarded to them by the accountability court Islamabad may be cancelled/recalled and the convicted accused may be committed to prison.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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