Court rejects Khaqan Abbasi’s lawyer request to postpone hearing

ISLAMABAD: An Accountability Court (AC) on Tuesday rejected a request of former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s lawyer to postpone hearing on LNG reference due to COVID-19 spread.

The judge said this court had not received any instructions from Islamabad High Court (IHC) for taking up only emergency based cases and postpone hearings on routine matter.

AC-II Judge Muhammad Azam Khan heard the LNG graft reference against former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, his son Abdullah Khaqan, ex-finance advisor and others.

At the outset of hearing, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s lawyer Barrister Zafarullah pleaded before the court to postpone further hearing in the LNG trial as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) had given instructions to courts to take up only emergency based cases.

The lawyer said the COVID-19 was spreading rapidly even his brother was also hospitalized due to infected by virus.

The court said it had not received any such instructions. The judge said that the IHC had previously ordered the district court to take only fifty percent cases but the same was also not applied on accountability courts.

Defence Lawyer Munavar Dogal pleaded before the court to adjourn the case for

at least one-week as a COVID-19 patient had arrived the court-room in last hearing.

NAB prosecutor Usman Mirza, however, objected over the defence stance and said the defence should cross examine the prosecution witness who was already in court.

The defence lawyer finally crossed examined the witness Ahsan Bhatti on court directives. After this, the hearing was adjourned till April 13.