Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – An accountability court on Wednesday resumed hearing of supplementary corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and family members.

Judge Mohammad Bashir took up the references regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Flagship Investment and other offshore companies, which have been filed by the National Accountability Bureau.

Nawaz Sharif, his daughter, Maryam Nawaz  and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar appeared before the court.

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As the hearing began, Khawana Haris, counsel for Nawaz Sharif pleaded the court to allow his client to go after attendance as his health was unwell. The court accepted the request and allowed former premier.

The trial court has summoned six witnesses in steel mills case and three witnesses in another reference to record their statements.

At the last hearing, Khawaja Haris, counsel for former premier cross-examined a witness, Abdul Hanan, a consular attaché at Pakistan’s High Commission in London. The witness remained failed to satisfy the court regarding the veracity of the documents submitted as the land registry documents did not have any signature or official stamp.

It is to mention here that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three interim corruption references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his children – Hasan, Hussain and Maryam Nawaz – and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case.

The anti-graft watchdog recently filed supplementary references in all three cases – Avenfiled properties, Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Flagship Investment and other offshore companies.

Sharif’s sons -Hassan and Hussain – have also been named as accused in the references, however, due to continued absence both have been declared proclaimed offenders.