Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – An accountability court on Thursday reserved its verdict on two supplementary references regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Flagship Investment and Hill Metal Establishment cases.

Judge Mohammad Bashir resumed the hearing after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar have reached the court.

As the hearing began, counsel for Nawaz Sharif, Ayesha Hamid, submitted her objections over the supplementary references, filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

NAB chief approves two supplementary references against Sharifs

Hamid claimed that there is nothing new in the supplementary references and asked the court to reject them.

She also pleaded the court to ask the monitoring judge of the case, Supreme Court Justice Ijazul Ahsan, to extend the six-month deadline as recording statements of witnesses will take time.

The NAB prosecutor presented arguement against the plea after which the judge reserved its verdict.

The former prime minister and his sons – Hasan and Hussain Nawaz – have been nominated in three references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) regarding Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Flagship Investment and Avenfield.

However, Nawaz, his sons, Maryam and Safdar are named in the London properties case.

It is the first hearing of Nawaz Sharif after being disqualified as president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in a case regarding Election Act 2017.

Election Act 2017 case: Supreme Court disqualifies Nawaz Sharif as PML-N president

Talking to media outside the NAB court today, the former premier said that decisions announced by the apex court are full of revenge.

‘Consideration being made to disqualify me for life,’ says Nawaz Sharif

Avenfield Reference

The court will resume hearing of Avenfield properties reference later today. However, Nawaz and Maryam will not attend the hearing of London properties as appearance exemption for today has been granted to them.

At the last hearing on Feb 19, the NAB court summoned Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Additional Director Wajid Zia, also head of the Panama Papers case joint investigation team (JIT), in Avenfield properties reference with original investigation report.

Panamagate JIT head Wajid summoned in Avenfield case against Sharifs

The court is also expected to record statements of two witnesses – UK-based Quist Solicitors, Akhtar Raja, and principal at the Radley Forensic Document Laboratory, Robert W. Radley – via video link.

On Feb 15, the accountability court also rejected the pleas filed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and family seeking exemption from appearance in corruption cases.

Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar on Wednesday filed application seeking exemption from the appearance from February 19 to March 5. The accused wanted to go to London to visit ailing Kulsoom Nawaz.

The court in its verdict said that ailment of Kulsoom Nawaz cannot be made a base to go abroad.