Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – An accountability court will hear a corruption case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and family members today (Monday).

The former prime minister, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar have reached the court to attend the Avenfield properties reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the light of the Panamagate verdict.

Star prosecution witness, Wajid Zia, who had headed the Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT), have also reached the court. Zia will be cross-examined by Sharif’s counsel, Khawaja Harris as he have completed his statement over several weeks.

Previous Hearing

He was also cross-examined at the last hearing on Thursday when he admitted before the court that JIT had not sent a letter of credit along with the request for mutual legal assistance (MLA) to the Ministry of Justice, the United Arab Emirates.

The JIT report claimed that the Sharif family misstated about the transportation of scrap machinery from Gulf Steel to Jeddah, because the Ministry of Justice of the UAE in response to the MLA request said that no any machinery had been shifted from Dubai to Jeddah.

He further said that the JIT had sent a ‘questionnaire’ to Jeremy Freeman through Quist solicitors after unanimous decision to seek his opinion about the authenticity of the two trust deeds related to Coomber, Nescol and Nelson Enterprises.

Zia said Freeman testified that the signatures on the trust deed are of Hussain Nawaz.

NAB References

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.