SUNDAY TIMES ISLAMABAD:Accountability Judge Arshad Malik on Dec 19 reserved his verdict in the remaining references against the PML-N supermo and his family and will announce it on Monday (Dec 24).

A National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor, objecting to the submission of new documents, said the defence counsel has brought the plea seeking permission to submit the documents at this juncture when the court had already reserved its verdict in the cases.

He said all witnesses had recorded their depositions while the defence counsel had also put forward his final arguments.

“When the cases have been fixed for the pronouncement of the judgment, they [Sharif’s legal team] have brought new documents,” he said and questioned why did they fail to submit the same in the past one year and three months’ period.

The accountability judge remarked it would have been easier for him to announce a verdict in one reference today while in the other after a week following the submission of documents by the defence counsel.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge accepted the former premier’s plea to make the new documents part of the case record.

Sharif’s lawyer requested the court to announce the verdict in the references on Dec 26 instead of Dec 24. He pleaded that the verdict be announced after the PML-N supreme leader’s birthday.

To which, the judge remarked he had been making efforts to complete the verdict in both the references before the fixed date. If he succeeds in his efforts, he will announce his ruling on Dec 24, otherwise, he will reschedule its pronouncement, he added.