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Sharif, daughter, son-in-law indicted for graft (Lead)

Islamabad, Oct 19 (IANS) An anti-corruption court on Thursday indicted ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and his son-in-law Captain Mohammad Safdar in a corruption reference pertaining to the London properties owned by the family.

The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three references against the Sharif family related to their Avenfield properties in London, the Azizia Steel Mills as well as another 16 offshore companies. One reference was filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

The references were filed by the NAB in the National Accountability Court in the light of Supreme Court orders in so-called Panama Papers case. The apex court had disqualified Sharif from holding office on July 28.

All three accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and vowed to contest the case. The court proceeded with the verdict after rejecting applications filed by Sharif, Maryam and Safdar requesting suspension of their indictment, Dawn online reported.

The court indicted the former Premier through pleader Zafir Khan as Sharif is in London with his ailing wife Begum Kulsoom Nawaz. The charges against Maryam and Safdar were framed in person.

The former Prime Minister and his sons Hassan and Hussain were likely to be indicted in the other two references later.

Maryam Nawaz told reporters as she was leaving the court: “One day there would be accountability of the accountability process her family is going through. Injustice and atrocities cannot continue together.”

Speaking to Geo News about Maryam and Captain Safdar’s indictment, Awami Muslim League (AML) leader Sheikh Rashid said: “The law has truly been implemented today.”

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesman Fawad Chaudhary said his party was satisfied with the progress of the case.

“We are happy this case is proceeding correctly and at a swift pace. This indictment has come in just one case, there are two other cases as well.

“All the money involved in these cases belongs to the people of Pakistan, and this money will be brought back to Pakistan,” Chaudhary said.

A number of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and workers were present outside the court complex. They held a protest after the police did not allow them to enter the premises.

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