Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – The head of Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT) Wajid Zia is being cross-examined on Monday in the Avenfield properties reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau against the members of embattled Sharif family.

As the case is entering into the final phase, the accused including former premier Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar are regularly showing up before the accountability court judge Muhammad Basher.

During today’s hearing, Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris would continue pitching ‘tough questions’ before Wajid Zia, who is an assistant director of Federal Investigation Agency and a central figure regarding the cases, that stemmed out of Panama Paper’s investigations.

Earlier, harsh words were exchanged between Khawaja Haris and National Accountability Bureau prosecutor. when Deputy prosecutor-general asserted that Nawaz Sharif had accepted his employment.

“Does the defence council refuses to accept documents pertaining to the employment,” he inquired.

The NAB official sought the attention of the court towards the ‘harassment of the witness’ claiming that the counsel for respondent was asking unnecessary questions.

On the other hand, Haris, a seasoned lawyer told Wajd Zia that he had changed his stance on seven instances warning him that ‘he might not get caught in the process’.

The case of the Sharif family’s upscale London flats is based on a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the Supreme Court’s directives last year.

As many as three corruption references had been filed against the Sharif family, on the directives of the top court which pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.

Nawaz Sharif and his sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar are named in the Avenfield reference only.

Hussian and Hassan Nawaz are UK-based and have been absconding since the proceedings began last year, however, the former premier has been showing up regularly before the court of judge Muhammad Bashir.

* This is an ongoing story and readers would be apprised of latest developments accordingly