Pakistan’s ex-PM Nawaz Sharif files plea for acquittal in corruption case

Islamabad, May 7 (PTI) Pakistan’s former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday filed a plea for acquittal in the Toshakhana corruption case in an accountability court in Islamabad.

Sharif’s counsel Rana Muhammad Arif Khan submitted the petition in the case, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

The prosecutor representing the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) stated in court that he would forward the application to NAB headquarters. The court issued notices on Sharif’s petition and adjourned the hearing till June 3.

Earlier this month, NAB gave a clean chit to 74-year-old Sharif in a case related to the acquisition of a luxury vehicle from the gift repository (Toshakhana).

The anti-graft body submitted a report that read that the Supreme Court had passed instructions to investigate an alleged fake account associated with Sharif. Furthermore, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader did not utilise funds from the alleged account to pay for the vehicle acquired from the Toshakhana.

The report by the country’s graft buster further read that the vehicle gifted to the then-premier by Saudi Arabia was relinquished to Toshakhana in 1997. It clarified that in 2008 when it was bought by Nawaz, it was no longer under the ownership of the Toshakhana but that of the federal transport pool.

“This case may attract any other offence but it has no relevance with the benefit of Toshakhana as the subject vehicle when purchased was not part of Toshakhana, rather than the same was part of the federal transport pool,” it read.

President Asif Ali Zardari and former premier Yusuf Raza Gilani are also accused in the case. However, Zardari enjoys presidential immunity and cannot be prosecuted during his tenure as president.

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