Islamabad, Sep 26 (IANS) Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday once again slammed the judiciary for rejecting his appeal against his disqualification from office and reaffirmed he would fight a legal battle to clear his name.
His comments came as an anti-corruption court announced that Sharif will be indicted on October 2 in three graft cases filed against him, Geo News reported.
Addressing a press conference here after making his first appearance before the accountability court to face corruption charges, Sharif claimed he was targetd in the so-called Panama Papers case. “I know for what reasons I am being punished,” he said.
Sharif returned to Pakistan from London on Monday where he travelled to see his ailing wife, Kulsoom, who is undergoing treatment for throat cancer in the British capital.
He claimed that “when they could not find proof (of his wrongdoing), they made a joint investigation team. The same courts and judges announced the decision and told NAB to open references.”
“Then the same court took control of NAB,” he said. “If necessary, this same court will listen to my last appeal as well.”
“Is this how justice works?” he asked. “Is this what we call the rule of law? Does Article 10 (of the Constitution) say this – is this what it means by a fair trial?”
“This is the first case that the weight of the law was placed with the petitioner, and the rights of the defence were not implemented,” he said.
The former premier said that he was ousted despite the failure of the prosecution to prove wrongdoing by him or his family. “No accusation was proved – they were not able to prove any corruption. But they had to disqualify me and so the iqama (his work permit with the UAE-based company) was used,” Sharif said.
Sharif was disqualified by the apex court on July 28 for not declaring income from his son’s company in the United Arab Emirates. He said at least the court should have told the people that no allegation of corruption had been proved against him.
“When legal experts themselves did not accept the decision, what could I do? These decisions were passed, punishments were given – but they were not accepted.”
Sharif said he would stay in Pakistan to face courts despite strong reservations. He also announced that he would wage a struggle for democracy and sanctity of vote.
“I am the victim of a case based on lies, and I am bearing the punishments for it. I have been fighting false cases and being punished but I have decided to fight the case of rights of people to rule…sanctity of vote. I believe people would win in the long run,” he said.
The National Accountability Board court also issued bailable arrest warrants for the ousted premier’s children Hassan, Hussain and Maryam Nawaz and his son-in-law Mohammad Safdar ahead of the indictment.
The bail amount was fixed at 1 million rupees ($9,490) for each.
Khawaja Haris, the lawyer of the Sharifs, argued that Sharif’s children could not appear before the court as they were in London with their mother. The Sharifs had been summoned before the court on September 15.
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