Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif speaks during a UK PMLN Party Workers Convention meeting with supporters in London on July 11, 2018. Pakistan’s former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison by a corruption court in Islamabad Friday, lawyers said, dealing a serious blow to his party’s troubled campaign ahead of July 25 elections. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMEN

LAHORE: An accountability court on Thursday again issued bailable arrest warrants for former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in a reference pertaining to a 34-year-old land allotment transaction also involving Jang group editor-in-chief Mir Shakilur Rehman.

Earlier, a police report filed with the court said the summons could not be served at the Model Town residence of Mr Sharif due to his unavailability.

Presiding Judge Asad Ali asked a police official if the former premier had only one residence in Lahore.

The official said there was another residence (of Mr Sharif in the city) in Jati Umra, but the summons were not sent to that address.ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD

The judge issued fresh bailable arrest warrants of Mr Sharif and ordered the police to ensure service of the summons at all known addresses of the suspect.

The judge also extended judicial remand of Mir Shakilur Rehman till next date of hearing on Sept 3. Mr Rehman was not produced before the court by the jail authorities due to Covid-19 pandemic standard operating procedures (SOPs).

The NAB in its reference alleged that Rehman illegally obtained exemption of 54 plots, each measuring one kanal, situated in Block-H, Johar Town.

It alleged that the land was allotted in connivance with then Punjab chief minister Nawaz Sharif against the exemption policy and the laws for monetary gains. It said the suspects caused a loss of Rs143.53 million to the national exchequer through allotment of the land in violation of exemption policy.

In this case, the NAB had arrested Mr Rehman, while Mr Sharif had been declared an absconder for his continuous non-appearance before the investigation team.

Mr Sharif is in London for his treatment following a permission given by courts. The other two suspects were not arrested by the NAB, but interrogated only.

MONEY LAUNDERING: An accountability court on Thursday completed scrutiny of a money laundering-cum-illegal assets reference against the family of Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif, filed by the NAB.

Presiding Judge Jawadul Hassan is set to start formal hearing of the reference from Friday (today).

A total of 20 persons had been nominated in the reference, including the four approvers – Yasir Mushtaq, Muhammad Mushtaq, Shahid Rafiq and Aftab Mahmood.

The main suspects are Mr Shahbaz’s wife Nusrat Shahbaz, his sons, Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz and Suleman Shahbaz (absconder), his daughters Rabia Imran and Javeria Ali.

Other suspects are alleged benamidars and business partners of the family, including Nisar Ahmad, Qasim Qayum, Rashid Karamat, Masroor Anwar, Fazal Dad Abbasi and Shoaib Qamar.

In this case, Mr Shahbaz is on pre-arrest bail granted by the Lahore High Court, while Hamza is on judicial remand and Suleman has been declared an absconder as he failed to return from London.

LAND CASE: A panel of lawyers on Thursday filed their power of attorneys on behalf of Shahbaz Sharif and his niece Maryam Nawaz, vice president of the PML-N, before a civil court hearing a suit accusing them of illegally occupying 4,000 kanal land in Jati Umra, Raiwind.

Civil Judge Fozia Saira allowed the lawyers time to file replies on behalf of the defendants and adjourned the hearing till Sept 12.

Dr Abdul Rauf, a professor of the Punjab University, filed the suit alleging that the land in question was his inherited property which his forefathers purchased in 1911 from the British government.

He asked the court to get the property vacated from alleged illegal possession of the defendants and hand it over to him. He also sought a direction for the defendants to pay him Rs50 billion as rent for the period they kept the land in their possession.