ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) submitted four interim references against the Sharif family and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar before the accountability court on Friday.
Amid tight security, cartons full of documents from the NAB regional offices were ushered into the Islamabad Accountability Court amid much media hype as the Supreme Court’s deadline expires today.
NAB Spokesperson Nawazish Ali told Geo News that all the references have been accepted for trial and nothing has been sent back.
He asked the media to restrain from speculation on the issue.
He was responding to reports that one of the references is incomplete and that the registrar has asked NAB to attach the missing documents before the references can be sent for trial. Three of the references are against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam, son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar and sons Hussain and Hasan while another is against Dar.
If convicted, the accused can face up to 14 years imprisonment and lifelong disqualification from holding public office including the freezing of bank accounts and assets.
The prosecution team of the NAB reached the court in Sector F-11 along with the documents to submit the references with the registrar of Judge Mohammad Bashir.
Sources said the other judge of the accountability court â€” Nisar Baig â€” has been transferred to Lahore after completion of his term.
The registrar said, according to sources, it may take two to three days to peruse the references as they contain several pages. Sources said NAB has attached with the references the nine volumes of the Panama case Joint Investigation Team’s final report as well.
The references were filed in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 decision in the Panama Papers case. The bureau was given six weeks, from the date of the court’s order, to file the reference in an accountability court while the court was granted six months to wrap up the proceedings.
Sharif family and Dar can face up to 14 years imprisonment, heavy fines, and freezing of property if the accountability court rules that a violation of Section 9 of the NAB Ordinance 1999 has taken place as suggested in the report of the Panama Papers case Joint Investigation Team. Moreover, the accused may also be disqualified from holding public office for life if found guilty.