ISLAMABAD – Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appeared before the accountability court in Islamabad which will resume hearing the Avenfield properties case today (Friday).
The case, based on a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) relates to the Sharif family’s upscale London apartments and the head of six-member Joint Investigation Team, Wajid Zia would be cross-examined by Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris today.
Zia, the Additional Director of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) completed recording his statement over several weeks after which Haris started to cross-examine him in front of embattled Sharif family, which claims innocence in any of the charges levelled.
Nawaz Sharif, who holds a ceremonial designation of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz’ ‘Quaid for life’, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar have arrived in court for the hearing.
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.
Nawaz Decries CJP’s Statement Again
In an informal interaction with newsmen inside the accountability court, the former premier once again lamented the remarks of Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar over his meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
“Such words do not befit the chief justice or anyone else. To say that he [PM] came to me [CJP] also does not sit well,” said Nawaz who had earlier expressed that Khaqan Abbasi could seek an explanation from the top judge over the observation.
During a hearing on Thursday, the top judge had said his job was to listen to the pleas of every ‘faryadi’ (complainant), referring to his huddle with Priem Minister.
Later in the day, the apex court, through a statement, clarified that the chief justice never used the word ‘faryadi’ for Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
When the PML-N’s unofficial head was asked about the dissolution of the bench hearing former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s treason trial, Nawaz said, “these things happen in such cases”.
“I know one thing. Musharraf’s trial will reach its logical conclusion one day. Everyone will be held accountable at all costs. Times have changed. Musharraf may well stay away from the proceedings and remain an absconder, but one day he will have to face the music,” asserted Nawaz.