ISLAMABAD - A Division Bench of the Islamabad High Court Tuesday hinted to announce its verdict in the petitions of Sharif family seeking suspension of their sentences in Avenfield reference today (Wednesday).

The dual bench of IHC comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing of the petitions of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (Retd) Safdar seeking suspension of their sentence and directed the NAB prosecutor to conclude his arguments on the next hearing.

The dual bench also observed that even if National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor does not conclude his arguments, a verdict will be announced on Sharif family’s petition on the basis of written response of NAB.

During the hearing, the court directed the NAB’s prosecutor to wrap up the arguments by tomorrow at all costs. “If NAB does not complete its argument tomorrow, then we will announce the verdict on Sharifs’ petitions keeping in view the NAB’s written response in the case,” the bench observed.

Justice Athar remarked that apparently, the accountability court’s verdict was based on the assumption that the Avenfield properties are occupied by the children but owned by Nawaz.

The NAB prosecutor adopted before the court that NAB had proved with verified evidences that the property was in possession of the accused after that it falls on the accused to clarify whether it was their grandfather or father from whom they inherit the property.

However, he added that the accused refused to tell anything in this connection.

The NAB officer claimed that bogus trust deeds were furnished by the Sharif family to which the judge asked whether these deeds were registered. Upon this, the NAB official replied that the trust deeds were intended for brothers, Hassan and Hussain. Justice Hassan observed that even the brothers were the sons of Nawaz Sharif while Justice Athar remarked that it was just an assumption that the property was in the possession of Sharif’s children, however, the actual owner was Nawaz Sharif himself.

The NAB prosecutor argued that Maryam Nawaz assisted the accused to hide London flats. Justice Miangul remarked that if Nawaz Sharif was the owner of the flats, how could Maryam Nawaz be sentenced under section 9(a)(5) of the NAB ordinance.

On this occasion, Justice Hassan directed the NAB prosecutor to argue on merits of the case. Addressing to Justice Minallah, Akram Qureshi said that he was once very close to Nawaz Sharif and also took part in the movement launched by him for the restoration of the judges.

To this, Justice Athar remarked that the movement was about the rule of law. When the NAB official objected to the bench hearing the case, Justice Athar remarked that this court had asked both the parties at the onset of the hearings about any objections.

Later, the NAB prosecutor pleaded that as he underwent an open heart surgery, he could not keep standing for more than two hours and requested the court to adjourn the hearings till Wednesday.

Justice Minallah reminded him that he had pledged of winding up his arguments in an hour. The prosecutor replied that he would only take 30 minutes of the court on the next hearing.

At this, Justice Miangul remarked that even if NAB prosecutor fails to show up before the court tomorrow, the court would announce its verdict. Then, the court adjourned the proceedings till Wednesday.