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LAHORE: An accountability court on Tuesday turned down the request of Shehbaz Sharif to delay the testimony of prosecution witness in a reference of Ramzan Sugar Mills as his lead counsel was not available. The court however assured Shabaz Sharif of complete fairness in the trial and observed that only the suspect was required to be present during the statement of the witness.

The court adjourned the hearing till February 24 and directed the NAB to produce more witnesses for the testimony.

Earlier Tahir Khalil Sindhu Advocate objected to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor for, what he claimed, dictating the witness. They both exchanged harsh words inviting an intervention by the judge. The judge asked Sindhu whether he wanted the court to shift the trial to jail. The judge reminded Shehbaz Sharif that Advocate Sindhu was not a counsel in the case and had no right to intervene in the court’s proceedings.

Shehbaz however, replied, “We come here for justice only”.

“Do not worry, you will definitely find justice here,” the judge said to the opposition leader. The NAB alleged in the reference that Shehbaz, being chief minister Punjab, had issued a directive for the construction of a drain in district Chiniot primarily for the use of Ramzan Sugar Mills owned by his sons - Hamza and Suleman. It said Rs 200 million was spent for this purpose from public exchequers. After leaving the court premises, Shehbaz responding to media queries said the hearing on his defamation suit against a journalist of “Daily Mail” before a court of London was an honour of Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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