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Thursday, January 27, 2000

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Lawyers seek to delay Sharif trial

KARACHI, JAN. 26. Lawyers of the deposed Pakistani Prime Minister, Mr. Nawaz Sharif, made a last-ditch effort today to delay their client's trial at an anti-terrorism court.

Mr. Sharif and the other accused arrived at the court in a convoy of six armoured vehicles at 8:15 a.m., heavily guarded by paramilitary troops. But minutes after the case opened, the defence lawyer asked the judge to halt the hearing until petitions against the military coup have been heard at the Supreme Court in Islamabad.

``This case cannot proceed and it should not proceed until the judgment of the case that is going to begin at the Supreme Court,'' the defence lawyer argued.

The judge, Mr. Rehmat Hussain Jafri, adjourned the hearing for 30 minutes to give the prosecution time to respond.

The Supreme Court case is due to begin on January 31.

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