LAHORE - Rejecting National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s request to extend physical remand of PML-N vice president, an accountability court yesterday sent Maryam Nawaz and her cousin Yousaf Abbas to jail on 14-day judicial remand till October 9 in Chaudhry Sugar Mills (CSM) case.

Maryam and Yousaf Abbas, the managing director at Sharif Group of Industries and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s nephew, were produced before Special Judge Accountability Court Ameer Muhammad Khan on expiry of their physical remand.

At the commencement of proceedings, NAB prosecutors Hafiz Asadullah and Haris Qureshi sought extension in physical remand of both the suspects for another 15 days.

The NAB officials took the plea that their physical remand was required for investigation into an agreement of division of properties owned by their family, saying that the agreement had surfaced during the recent investigation.

They detailed that a total of 14.5 million shares of the mills were divided among Mian Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif, Abbas Sharif, their sister Kausar and their mother Shamim Begum.

However, they added, the shares of the mills were 26.2 million in 2008 according to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s (SECP) record.

They maintained that there was a difference of 11.6 million shares and these were not included in the assets of Sharif family.

They contended that Maryam Nawaz’s assets did not correspond to her income in 2008 and said that Sharif family members had to be summoned for probe into the issue.

They said that Maryam Nawaz received amount sent by Sadiqa Saeed through telegraphic transfers (TTs) in 1998 and afterwards the same amount was transferred to the mills.

In the same year of 1998, they said, the suspect received Rs160 million but the relation of the accused with sender Sadiqa Saeed was not clear.

They further said that the alleged sender also paid loan of the mills that was shifted from Gojra to Rahim Yar Khan at a cost of Rs1.5 billion in 2015. However, they argued, the sources of the amount had to be determined yet.

In 2008, they submitted, three foreigners sent shares in the name of Maryam Nawaz and the same shares had been transferred by Yousaf Abbas to Nawaz Sharif.

They submitted that $ 4.8 million sent to Yousaf Abbas through TTs and the sum was transferred to the mills so as to benefit the mills’ directors and shareholders.

On the other side, defence counsel Amjad Pervaiz opposed NAB’s request saying that the bureau had already took remand of the accused on the same grounds.

He argued that investigation had already been conducted into the issue while the sale and purchase of mills’ shares were done under the SECP rules and Companies Act.

He submitted that not the accountability watchdog, rather the SECP was empowered to investigate the matter and take action in this regard.

The defence counsel argued that sugar mills were set up in 1991 and the shares were transferred in 2008 while the Anti-Money Laundering Act was implemented in 2010.

As per the law, the same could not be implemented on the past transactions, he said.

He further said that the Lahore High Court had already passed a judgement over Sadiqa Saeed TTS in Hudaibiya Papers Mills case whereas the bureau was trying to mislead the court on the matter.

He said that agreement of division of properties of the Sharif family was in possession of the bureau from day first while Mian Sharif died in 2004 and the shares were divided in 2008.

He said that NAB had failed to give any evidence after it levelled allegations of money laundering against his clients.

After hearing both the parties, the accountability court rejected NAB’s request to extend physical remand of the suspects and sent them to jail on judicial remand till October 9. On behalf of Maryam Nawaz, the defence counsel then requested the court for shifting her to Kot Lakhpat Jail.

However, the court remarked that the jail officials would decide whether she would be lodged in Camp Jail or Kot Lakhpat Jail.

On August 8, a NAB team had detained Maryam outside the Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore as she paid a visit to the prison to see her father and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.