NAB court records statements of witnesses in Sharifs’ graft cases

  • Court has summoned three prosecution witnesses to record statements

ISLAMABAD – An accountability court on Tuesday recorded statements of two more prosecution witnesses in corruption references against members of Sharif family.

Judge Mohammad Bashir took up the cases after Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam, and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar have reached the court.

It is to mention here that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed three references against Nawaz and his family in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case.

The three references include the London flats,  Al-Azizia Steel Mills and offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd.

Today, the court has summoned three prosecution witnesses named Umar Daraz, Afaq Ahmad, director at Foreign Office and Nasir Junejo, additional director NAB to record their statements in the cases.

As the hearing began, the court started recording the statement of a prosecution witness, NAB official Nasir Janjua, in the Flagship Investment case. Later, another official, Umar Draz Gondal his statement. Both the witnesses were cross-examined by Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Harris.

After recording the statements, the court adjourned the hearing until January 23. It has also summoned three more witnesses to record statements.

A number of PML-N leaders have reached the federal judicial complex to observe the hearing of the cases, while strict security measures have been taken around the court.

Media Talk

Talking to media outside the accountability court, former prime minister questioned the legal strength of the corruption references filed against him.

Commenting on the anti-government movement, announced by PAT chief Tahirul Qadri, he said that the incumbent government is going to complete its tenure in four or five months and there was no point of staging protest. He said that people who are running the movement should wait for the public decision.

Talking about ending of PML-N government in Balochistan, he said it was a mockery with democracy that a person who got 500 votes becomes chief minister of a province. He said that a meeting will be convened on Balochistan issue to review the situation.

Previous Hearing

At the last hearing, the court recorded statements of four witnesses of NAB in the corruption references against members of Sharif family.

The court recorded the statement of Sidra Mansoor, joint secretary of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), in the Al Azizia reference. She provided record regarding Mehran Ramzan Textile Mills, owned by Hussain Nawaz.

Other prosecution witnesses – Uzair Rehan, Assistant Director NAB, Tasleem Khan and Mohammad Zubair – also record their statements.

NAB’s London Visit

On Monday, a three-member to of the NAB, headed by  Director General (Operations), Zahir Shah left for London in order to collect evidence regarding Nawaz Sharif’s alleged ownership of Flagship Investment. The team is expected to return on Wednesday.

A couple of weeks ago, another team of NAB visited London for investigation, but, according to media reports, the UK authorities had refused to provide details, asking them to follow the relevant law.