ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Thursday expressed reservations over hearings of petitions filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (r) Safdar challenging the Avenfield reference verdict against them, a private TV channel reported. A two-judge bench of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) comprising Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the petitions. A day earlier, Nawaz’s counsel, Khawaja Haris, and counsel of Maryam Nawaz and Capt (r) Safdar, Amjad Pervez, concluded their arguments. NAB prosecutor Akram Qureshi began presenting his arguments as the hearing resumed on Thursday. “If daily hearings can be conducted on petitions against the verdict then there can also be daily hearings on the appeals. Defence lawyers should argue over the appeals for two hours daily,” the NAB prosecutor said. Justice Miangul told Qureshi, “We have heard your reservations, move forward.” The NAB prosecutor then said, “If a sentence is more than three years, the punishment cannot be immediately suspended.” Justice Minallah then questioned, “Has there been a daily trial in any other case? This case is different.” However, the NAB prosecutor argued, “This case is not different.” “The defence lawyers owing to their malafide intentions decided to present arguments over pleas challenging the verdict,” he said. Justice Minallah then turned to the NAB prosecutor and remarked, “Present arguments on the suspension of the sentence first.” Justice Miangul added, “We have noted your reservations.” Following this, the NAB prosecutor said, “My mother suffered a cardiac arrest a day earlier and if you permit I want to leave the rostrum.” However, the bench asked him to continue presenting his arguments. The NAB prosecutor then once again objected and said that the accountability bureau was not made party in the petitions which is why they are not maintainable. Published in Daily Times, September 14th 2018.