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Pak. anti-graft court defers Sharif indictment till October 19

Capt Safdar moves IHC to putt off indictment in graft reference

Ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's indictment has been postponed till October 19 by an anti-graft court in Pakistan due to protests by lawyers.

The decision came shortly after deposed Mr. Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (Retd) Safdar appeared in court for hearing of the graft cases.

Nawaz Sharif, in his petition, pled Supreme Court (SC) to halt proceedings of accountability court till judgment is served on constitutional plea and declare verdict to file three references illegal.

The petition, filed by advocate Muhammad Kassim Mir Jat on behalf of Sharif, requested the court to order the anti-corruption body to file one consolidated reference instead of three separate references, Dawn newspaper reported. Party supporters also tried to enter the courtroom, resulting in clashes with police.

They threatened to hold up the hearing until action was taken against the police officers that had allegedly manhandled them outside the court.

The hearing was adjourned until October 13, when members of the Sharif family will be indicted. Due to the ruckus, Judge Bashir left the courtroom and later announced the postponement of the hearing till October 19. The judge in his chamber ordered inspector general of police (IGP) to conduct an inquiry into the incident and submit a report.

Maryam Nawaz arrived at accountability court amid tight security. The scuffle led to the injury of at least one lawyer.

The Interior Ministry asked Islamabad police to compile a detailed report on the incident. They had also attended the previous hearing. The inquiry of the incident will determine its objectives and the elements behind it, she added. He said that they respect the court and the security personnel were deployed to ensure protection of the court.

A senior leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) said that Sharif will skip the hearing today as he has not returned from London where he is busy looking after his wife Kulsoom.