Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was brought to the accountability court in Islamabad from the Adialal Jail on Tuesday for hearing of the two corruption references filed against him.

The former premier is facing references regarding Al Azizia steel mills and Flagship investment for which Judge Arshad Malik is conducting the hearings.

During today’s hearing, Khawaja Haris, the counsel for Nawaz Sharif, continued cross-examining Wajid Zia, the head of six-men Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed the offshore dealings of the former ruling family.

At the onset of the proceedings, the accountability court judge instructed Wajid Zia to avoid unnecessary details to which Zia replied that in English language, even a comma matters.

Haris expressed that Zia was being cross-examined due to the dishonesty. His remarks angered NAB’s deputy prosecutor, Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi, who replied that the term was inappropriate.

Upon this, Haris said that he was retracting his words, however, Wajid Zia intervened and said that he should not have used the term in the first place.

To this, Haris said he was sticking to his point then.

Wajid Zia revealed that Hussain Nawaz did not provide his financial statement. He also admitted that the picture of Hussain was leaked through the office of JIT, however, fell short of disclosing the name of the individual behind the breach due to security concerns.

Earlier on Monday, the Supreme Court turned down Haris’ plea regarding a three-month extension in the time prescribed for winding up the graft references.

The apex court instead granted six weeks to the court to wind up the matter.

The former premier was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the Avenfiled reference in July this year. His daughter Maryam Nawaz was also handed a 7-year jail term, with son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar asked to spend one year behind bars.

The references have been filed by the National Accountability Bureau in line with the directives of the Supreme Court in the Panama Papers case verdict, that sent the elder Sharif packing in July last year.

*This is a developing story and would be updated accordingly