Embattled Sharifs demand live broadcast of graft case hearings

  • Khawaja Haris continues cross-examination of JIT head Wajid Zia
Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Daughter of former premier Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz, demanded to live broadcast, the corruption proceedings under way at the accountability court in Islamabad.

The former first daughter took to Twitter and cited ‘so the nation can know what the truth is’ as a reason for the demand.

In another tweet, she claimed that the entire case against Nawaz Sharif was prepared on WhatsApp, the record of which was unavailable.

The comments came after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam appeared before the accountability court in Islamabad hearing graft references against them filed by the National Accountability Bureau.

The two, named in the Avenfield properties case, arrived from Lahore via a private jet after having missed yesterday’s hearing owing to inclement weather.

Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris continued his cross-examination of Wajid Zia today (Wednesday) in the presence of Sharif family members.

Zia headed the six-member Panama case joint investigation team (JIT) which probed the Sharif family assets last year and had completed recording his statement a few days back.

The case, based on a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the Supreme Court’s directions, pertains to the Sharif family’s upscale London apartments.

PTI’s Response Over Live Broadcast Request

Responding to Maryam’s tweet, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry said that they (PTI) had also demanded that the proceedings of the JIT probing the Panama Papers case and the Supreme Court proceedings be broadcast live.

“I agree with Maryam’s proposal 100 percent but the decision to broadcast proceedings rests with the court,” he added.

The PTI leader continued they want the JIT’s video recordings of interrogations released to the public as well.

Cases Against 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.