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After a long hiatus of three months in hearing of an appeal filed by incarcerated ex-premier Nawaz Sharif against his conviction in Al-Azizia corruption reference, Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday adjourned the case till October 7 after Sharif's counsel said he would conclude his arguments in three months.
Sharif had challenged the verdict in Islamabad High Court (IHC) and his petition was taken up by a two-judge bench comprising Justice Aamir Farooq and Justice Mohsin Raza Kiyani. Another plea filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to extend Sharif's sentence from seven to 14 years was also heard simultaneously.
The hearing, resuming after a hiatus of three months, is the first since the emergence of a controversial video of Judge Arshad Malik that raised questions about the impartiality of the verdict. During the hearing, Nawaz's counsel Khawaja Haris asked the court for a verified copy of a press release and an affidavit submitted in the IHC by Judge Malik after a controversial video of the judge surfaced.
The bench said that both items had been included in the file that was provided to Haris. The bench said that evidence provided by the NAB as well as Sharif's counsel had been included in the file and told Haris to tally the documents of the paper book with his own record.
During the hearing, Haris said that some documents were missing from the paper book, on which the court said if any document had been left out, the counsel can submit it later.
To a question about completing his arguments in the appeal, Haris said that he would conclude his arguments in three months. The court directed that the copies of Malik's press release and affidavit be provided to Haris as well as NAB's counsel. The hearing was adjourned until October 7.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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