ISLAMABAD – The volume X of the report formulated by Joint Investigation Team in the purview of Panama Case verdict was once again discussed in the accountability court on Tuesday, hearing corruption reference filed against former premier Nawaz Sharif and his family members.
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were exempted from physical appearance, for a day, in the Avenfield properties reference filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau, however, his counsel, Khawaja Haris requested the court to direct Wajid Zia, head of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), to de-classify volume 10 of the report.
“Would you file an application to the SC requesting to unseal volume 10?” Harris questioned. “Yes, I would,” Zia responded, prompting Haris to request the court to direct the Zia to file an application in this regard.
The hearing resumed with Harris questioning Zia on Mutual Legal Assistance (MLAs) sent by the JIT to Central Authority, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Justice, Dubai.
“Seven MLAs were sent to the department, four were sent together and the rest were sent on different dates,” Zia informed the court.
The defence then probed the JIT head on whether the MLAs were sent to anyone else besides the ministry of justice, to which Zia replied in the negative.
To this, Harris stated, “What if I told you that you did send MLAs pertaining to Tariq Shafee to someone else?”
Zia then replied that he would have to confirm such correspondence, saying that the information is sealed in volume ten of the JIT report.
Harris then inquired: Do you know that a copy of volume 10 was provided to NAB?.
“I don’t know,” Zia responded.
Harris then went on to ask Zia, “Who asked to seal volume 10 of the JIT?”
Zia replied saying that the JIT had requested the SC to seal it adding that all copies of volume ten were sealed by the apex court or by NAB, Express Tribune reported.
“I don’t think that volume 10 was submitted in a sealed condition to SC,” Zia said.
Earlier, the exemption to Sharif family members was granted after Khawaja Haris informed the accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir that the duo stuck in Lahore owing to bad weather, however, the court directed Nawaz’s son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar to remain in court and started the hearing of the reference.
The case, based on a reference filed by the graft-buster on the Supreme Court’s directions in the aftermath of Panama case verdict, pertains to the Sharif family’s apartments in the upscale neighbourhood of London.
Nawaz’s counsel is currently cross-examining the primary witness, Wajid Zia, who also headed the six-member Joint Investigation Team that probed into the wheelings and dealings of the Sharif family.
Zia is being cross-examined since the last few hearings after having recorded his statement earlier over several weeks.
Cases Against embattled Sharif Family
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.