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ISLAMABAD: An Accountability Court, on Thursday, granted time to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to review the reply submitted by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid Nawaz Sharif in response to the questionnaire provided by the bureau to him in the Toshakhana case against him, and former president Asif Ali Zardari as well as former prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani.

Accountability Court judge Muhammad Bashir, while hearing the case, granted time to the NAB for further action after review of reply submitted by Sharif.

The court during the previous hearing directed the anti-graft watchdog to record the statement of Sharif and provide him a questionnaire.

During the hearing, Sharif’s pleader Rana Irfan and his counsel Qazi Misbah as well as pleaders of Zardari and Gilani also appeared in court.

Similarly, NAB prosecutors, Sohail Arif and Irfan Bohla also attended the hearing.

At the start of the hearing, Sharif’s lawyer informed the court that his client had joined the investigation and submitted the reply to the questionnaire. The investigation officer (IO) of the case confirmed the submission of the reply to the questionnaire before the court.

Misbah told the court that the questionnaire for the reference was drafted in 2019 when Sharif was extremely ill. The defence counsel further argued that his client had made no demand for a car and that the same was present on record as well.

At this, the court inquired from the prosecutor what should be done now. The prosecutor said that the bureau will review the reply submitted by the accused and further action will be taken. He requested the court to grant time for further action.

The court after hearing arguments adjourned the hearing till December 20.

The NAB had filed the Toshakhana reference against Zardari, Nawaz Sharif, Gillani, and others for allegedly acquiring three vehicles including BMW 750 Li model 2004, Toyota Lexus Jeep 472 model 2007 gifted by the Embassy of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and BMW 760 LI model 2008 gifted by Embassy of Libya and gifts from Toshakhana - an official treasury where gifts from foreign dignitaries or heads of state are deposited - in violation of rules and regulations.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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