ISLAMABAD – An accountability court on Monday resumed hearing of a corruption reference against members of Sharif family.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar reached the court to face trial in a reference pertaining to Avenfield properties filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the light of the Panamagate verdict.
As Judge Mohammad Bashir resumed hearing, Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawja Harris pleaded the court not to record the statement of last prosecution witness saying their defence will be adversely affected if the witness, investigation officer Imran Dogar, is testified.
He further requested the court first record Panama JIT head Wajid Zia’s statement in the Flagship and Al Azizia references.
However, the prosecutor opposed the plea, saying the Avenfield case should be concluded at the first. He argued that the defence should have filed the plea before cross-examining Zia in the London flats case.
As the court resumed hearing after short adjournment, it was decided that Dogar’s statement will not be postponed. The judge said that decision on defence plea regarding Wajid Zia testimony will be announced later.
Talking to media outside the accountability court, Nawaz Sharif asserted on Monday that artificial cases were lodged against the Sharif family, declaring that the results of such cases would not be accepted.
The former premier expressed that those giving these decisions would regret their action as this was not in the country’s interest.
Decrying his disqualification in the Panama Papers case, the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz ‘Quaid for life’ claimed that had he been allowed to work, he would have taken the country to new heights in terms of development and progress.
At the last hearing on April 24 hearing, Maryam’s counsel Amjad Pervez conducted the cross-examination of prosecution witness Zahir Shah, Director General Operation of NAB, who has been recently included in the case after he collected some material from UK officials regarding the London flats.
Later, the court recorded the DG Operation’s statement in the Flagship reference against Nawaz Sharif. On April 25, Khawaja Haris, counsel for former premier, concluded cross-examination of Shah in the case.
The court had later adjourned the case till Monday (today) and summoned Dogar to record statemetn in the Avenfield reference.
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.