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Jailed Sharif appears in Pak court in remaining 2 graft cases against him

Islamabad: Pakistan's jailed former prime minister today appeared again before an accountability court hearing two graft cases against him and his family. The 68-year-old PML-N leader appeared before the Islamabad-based court for hearing in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and the Hill Metal Establishment cases.

Sharif, along with his daughter Maryam, 44 and his son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar, 54, are already serving jail terms of 10-years, seven years and one year respectively in the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, after the accountability court convicted them on July 6 over the family's ownership of four luxury flats in London through illegal means. Sharif was brought from the high-security Adiala jail in Rawalpindi amid tight security to the Islamabad-based accountability court for hearing of the corruption cases.

Sharif's lawyer Khawaja Haris asked the court that the verdict in both cases should be issued simultaneously which was accepted by the court. The prosecution also presented that last witness in the Al Azizia Steel case, who provided details of several transactions in bank accounts of the Sharifs.

Later, the court adjourned hearing till August 27. A number of Sharif's supporters were present outside the court to show solidarity for the ousted premier. Police took two supporters in custody when they tried to shower rose petals on Sharif.

The pending corruption cases against Sharif and his two sons were transferred by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on August 7 on application of Sharif to another accountability court headed by judge Malik. Three corruption cases were filed against Sharif and family last year following a decision by Supreme Court on July 28 of the same year.

The formal trial of the Sharif family started on September 14 and was to be completed in six months but later the deadline was extended at least thrice. Apart from Sharif, his two sons -Hassan and Hussian - are also co-accused on all three corruption cases.

The court has already declared the two sons as absconders due to their persistent failure to appear before the court. They have been blacklisted by the authorities, barring them from travelling on their Pakistani passports. 

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