Nawaz Sharif, Maryam allowed to leave for London

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In another development in the NAB references against Sharif family, former minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz have been granted exemption from appearance by the accountability court in Islamabad today (Wednesday). The NAB officials also informed the court that they sent notices to both the brothers through the Foreign Office to flats No. 16, 16A, 17, 17-A, Avenfield House, Park Lane, London, the United Kingdom.

On November 8, the accountability court rejected Nawaz Sharif's plea of clubbing all three references into one.

Meanwhile, the court adjourned hearing till Nov 22.

Moreover, Hussain and Hasan Nawaz were declared proclaimed offenders due to their continuous absence.

Maryam and Safdar had been indicted along with Sharif in a reference regarding the London properties on October 19.

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The accountability court had also summoned two prosecution witnesses Sidra Mansoor of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and Jahangir Ahmad of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to appear in the court to record their statements.

During the hearing, Mansoor testified that she had provided NAB with the 2000-2005 audit report of Hudaibiya Paper Mills.

Maryam sought exemption for a month during which her representative will attend all hearings.

Judge Mohammad Bashir is hearing the cases after former premier Nawaz Sharif daughter, Maryam Nawaz and his son-in-law, Captain (retd) Safdar reached the court amid tight security.

The counsels of Nawaz and his children, Khawaja Harris and Amjad Pervez, raised objection that the witness submitted unverified documents as they did not have company's stamp.

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"These courts have double standards".

The judge also ordered that from now on they will be mentioned as proclaimed offenders in every court order.

The court began proceedings against the three accused even though the Islamabad High Court (IHC) admitted Sharif's petition challenging the accountability court's refusal to club three separate references against him and fixed Nov 20 as the date for the next hearing.

The NAB has in total filed three references against the Sharif family and another against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court, in light of the Supreme Court's orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.

According to evidence submitted by the National Accountability Bureau, Sharif family owns four posh London apartments, two steel mills in Saudi Arabia and several offshore companies in the United Kingdom.

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The former premier's family has time and again rejected the allegations and told the court "all corruption charges are based on lies".

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