Captain Safdar left alone to face trial by 'busy' Nawaz, Maryam

10:16 AM | 30 May, 2018
Captain Safdar left alone to face trial by 'busy' Nawaz, Maryam
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ISLAMABAD - Captain (retd) Safdar, husband of Maryam Nawaz, on Wednesday reached the accountability court to record his testimony in the Avenfield case.

Unlike before he was alone as co-accused in the case, Maryam, and his father-in-law, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif did not appear before the court as both have recorded their answers to 127 questions asked by the court.

Media reports claimed that Nawaz and Maryam would not attend the today's hearing due to their personal engagements. A plea would also be filed by their lawyers seeking exemption from appearance.

The former military man was named in the case pertaining to London flats filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the light of the Panamagate verdict. However, he has denied the allegations.

He started recording his answers on Tuesday when his wife and father-in-law accompanied him but the duo later left the court after marking their attendance.

When a reporter asked him about Maryam leaving the courtroom, Safdar replied: “Maryam is with me for the last 25 years…Isn’t that enough that she has stayed with an empty-pocket man for 25 years.” He added, "Nawaz needs her most at this moment".

Testimony

In his statement on Wednesday, PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif's son-in-law, retired Capt Muhammad Safdar, decided against producing any witnesses in his defence in an accountability trial, informing the court that had made this decision because the prosecution had failed to establish a case against him.

Safdar was recording his statement in the Avenfield reference under Section 342 of the Criminal Procedures Code (CrPC) and a day earlier, he testified before the Judge Muhammad basher that he was compelled to turn approver through tough questions.

The son-in-law of former premier Nawaz Sharif stated that I was treated as a war prisoner by the six-member Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed the wheeling and dealing of Sharif family, on the directives of the Supreme Court.

‘The self-made JIT’s report is irrelevant in this case,’ stated Safdar.

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On the occasion NAB prosecutor, Afzal Qureshi interrupted him and claimed that he had not even read the questionnaire to which Safdar quipped that he had read the questionnaire and recited Taraweeh as well.

The counsel for Safdar also advised him not to indulge in unnecessary conversation with the prosecution team and go ahead with his testimony.

Captain Safdar claimed that he had no association whatsoever with Avenfield properties or Hudaibiya paper Mills adding that the verdict handed down by Queen’s bench London did not pertain to him.

To a question regarding the speech of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, made on the floor of the house, Safdar replied that he did not remember the contents of the said speech.

‘I hardly rectify the contents of my speech,’ claimed Capt (r) Safdar.

Regarding the sale proceeds of Gulf Steel Mills, the co-accused responded that the issue dates to the time when he had not married Maryam Nawaz.

He confirmed that his signatures on the declaration of Coomber group had already been verified by him.

“Maryam Nawaz was made a trustee in the group; I approved the agreement as a witness,” observed Captain (r) Safdar but added that he had no connection with the trust deeds of Neilson and Nescoll.

He also expressed suspicions over the trust deeds and claimed that the JIT did not seal those when Maryam Nawaz appeared before it.

Captain (r) Safdar also detached himself from the communication between Samba group and Minerva, that dates back to 2005.

The lawmaker claimed that he had no connection with the agreement between Altaufeeq trust and Hudaibiya paper Mills.