Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – An accountability court on Thursday resumed hearing of a corruption case pertaining to properties in London against members of Sharif today (Thursday).

Judge Mohammad Bashir is hearing the case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the light of the Panamagate verdict that led to the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

The former prime minister, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law reached the court to face trial as the case has entered in its last stages.

As the hearing underway, Khawaja Haris, counsel for former premier, is cross-examining the last prosecution witness, Imran Dogar, also a NAB’s investigation officer.

Dogar revealed that it emerged during investigation that offshore companies, Neilson and Nescol, were owned by the former premier.

The documents received by the NAB in response to Mutual Legal Assistances (MLAs), however, did not carry the names of Nawaz Sharif and his children – Maryam, Hasan and Hussain Nawaz, he added.

Dogar recorded his statement before the court on Wednesday, disclosing that as per investigations, Nawaz Sharif was the owner of upscale London flats while he was holding public office.

IO’s Testimony

“The properties were purchased through offshore companies in someone else’s name [to conceal ownership],” Dogar informed Judge Muhammad Bashir.

The investigating officer further alleged that the Sharif family failed to prove a source of income for purchasing the properties. “London flats were in the use of Nawaz and his family since 1993,” claimed Dogar.

In his shocking statement, the NAB official also stated that Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan’s official Sidra Mansoor informed NAB about the Hudaibiya Paper Mills case.

After Haris will complete the cross-examination, Maryam and Safdar’s counsel, Amjad Pervaiz will be questioning the prosecution witness.

Interestingly, earlier, Nawaz’s counsel had requested the court not to allow recording of Dogar’s statement. However, the judge rejected the plea and ordered to testify the investigation officer.

Fight Against Aliens

The former premier in an informal talk with media said that “aliens” were trying to create a parliament of their own wish.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) real contest is not with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party but with the ‘aliens’, asserted Sharif in a veil reference to the so-called establishment.

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NAB Cases

Nawaz and his family are facing three corruption cases which pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London in the Accountability Court-I after the NAB filed references against them in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case.

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.