Corruption references against Sharifs retracted

Nawaz Sharif. (AFP)
Updated 14 September 2017
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Corruption references against Sharifs retracted

ISLAMABAD: Four corruption references filed by the country’s anti-corruption bureau last week against the Sharifs and incumbent Federal Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, were returned on Tuesday from the office of the court’s registrar.
Following scrutiny of the submitted documents, the registrar found incomplete documentation and technical faults in the references.
Arab News has learned today from sources at the anti-graft bureau that they “have completed the documents which were missing and received certified copies from the Supreme Court today,” submitting them to the registrar of the Accountability Court. Sources added that the registrar “accepted one reference of Flagship” (Investment Ltd), an allegedly Sharif-owned offshore company under investigation, “whereas three references have been returned” after minor queries were raised.
The references, which were approved on Sept. 7 by the National Accountability Bureau Chairman, include the highly valued Avenfield properties (Flats No. 16, 16-A, 17, 17-A, Avenfield House, Park Lane) located in London, the establishment of Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Company in Jeddah, and 15 other companies along with Flagship Investment Ltd. The fourth reference, possessing assets beyond known sources of income, is against Dar.
Nawaz Sharif, his three children Hassan, Hussain, Maryam, his son-in-law Capt. (R) Safdar, and Ishaq Dar have refused to appear before the NAB court till their plea petitions, filed with the Apex court, are decided.
However, the former prime minister’s two sons, daughter and son-in-law filed a petition on Monday through their defense counsel pleading for a larger bench of judges to review their pleas as they were dissatisfied with the three-member panel.
“In terms of the legal and constitutional dispensation of the State of Pakistan, a Supreme Court bench of lesser strength cannot upset or pre-empt the decision of a larger bench," they contended.
Since Nawaz Sharif was deposed on July 28, declared “dishonest” by a five-member judicial bench, the applicants’ legal counsel have requested the same panel for their hearing. The plea for a larger bench has been admitted by the Supreme Court.
The Sharifs have questioned the legality of the Supreme Court’s directive to have a Supreme Court judge to supervise the trial court proceedings against the accused. They also filed a plea to have the final order of the court to open graft cases by the NAB suspended pending a final decision on their petitions.


Survivors: Up to 117 migrants missing in capsizing off Libya

Updated 24 min 59 sec ago
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Survivors: Up to 117 migrants missing in capsizing off Libya

  • The migrants came mainly from west Africa
  • The Italian navy said it had alerted Libyan authorities who coordinated rescue operations

MILAN: A rescue official says survivors have told rescuers that up to 117 migrants might have died when a rubber dinghy capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya.
Flavio Di Giacomo of International Organization for Migration says three survivors were plucked to safety by an Italian navy helicopter on Friday, and they say 120 were aboard when the dinghy left Libya.

He said the people came mainly from west Africa, adding: “Ten women including a pregnant girl were aboard and two children, one of whom was only two months old.”
The navy says its airplane launched life rafts after it spotted the sinking dinghy Friday with about 20 people aboard. It wasn't immediately clear if some migrants had already fallen off.
The Italian Coast Guard says Libya asked a nearby cargo ship to search for survivors, but no one was found.
The Italian news agency ANSA quoted Libyan authorities as saying a dispatched Libyan coast guard boat turned back after mechanical problems.
According to the IOM, 2,297 migrants died or went missing in the Mediterranean last year, out of a total of 116,959 people who reached Europe by sea.
Arrivals in the first 16 days of 2019 totalled 4,449, almost all by sea, compared with 2,964 in the same period of 2018.
“As long as European ports will remain open ... sea-traffickers will continue to do business and kill people,” Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said in a Facebook post late on Friday.
Since Italy’s populist government came to power in June, Salvini, leader of the anti-migrant League, has closed Italian ports to humanitarian vessels.