Nawaz’s former guard charged for spitting on woman

Murtaza Ali Shah
Thursday, Apr 18, 2024

LONDON: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has charged ex-premier Nawaz Sharif’s former guard with the alleged common assault for spitting on a woman here in September last year.

The CPS told Geo and The News that the close protection guard Farid Nemouchi has been charged with the alleged “common assault” on a complaint made by Panzani Cheema, a Brunei national who works in London.

Pakistani media had interviewed Nawaz Sharif a moment before the incident. Panzani Cheema had appeared from nowhere and started filming and questioning as Farid Nemouchi was pulling out to take Nawaz Sharif home, from Hasan Nawaz’s office.

The guard appeared at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday afternoon with his lawyer Moeen Khan, a criminal law expert. He pleaded not guilty before the judge and said he will contest the charge of spitting and causing distress to Panzani Cheema who did not appear in the court. The prosecutor told the judge that the spitting act had left Panzani Cheema distressed and caused her trauma.

The judge told Farid that he was on bail without any conditions attached. The trial will take place at a later date in June or July.Panzani Cheema had knocked on the window of the car on September 16 last year. Farid Nemouchi, driving Nawaz Sharif, lowered the window and said “Hi” to the woman. The woman said “Hi” to Nawaz Sharif and said: “I have heard that you are a very corrupt Pakistani politician.”

Angered by the comment, the driver allegedly spat on her face, rolled up the window, and drove away. The entire incident was caught on Panzani Cheema’s phone.Farid Nemouchi, Algerian by origin, is a martial arts expert who protected Nawaz Sharif in London for nearly three years during the former premier’s last exile in London. He returned to Pakistan a few months ago to lead PML-N’s election campaign.Farid Nemouchi’s lawyer Moeen Khan, of Moeen & Co Solicitors, said his client has decided not to plead guilty. “We will try to prove that our client didn’t break any law.”