Accountability Court adjourns NAB references hearing against Sharif family till Friday

Accountability court reserves verdict on Nawaz, Maryam’s exemption plea

ISLAMABAD: The cross-examination of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Additional Director Wajid Zia, who headed the probe into the Sharif family’s assets during the Panama Papers case, resumed today at the accountability court conducting corruption proceedings against former premier Nawaz Sharif and his family.
Nawaz’s counsel, Khawaja Haris, resumed cross-examination of the ‘star’ witness in the Avenfield properties reference — one of three filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in light of the Supreme Court’s Panama Papers case judgment last year. Nawaz, daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt (retd) Muhammad Safdar have been indicted in the Avenfield reference. They are all present in court at the moment.
At present, Zia is being questioned on the two letters from Qatar’s royal family member and Sharif family associate Prince Hammad Bin Jassim.
Zia informed the court that the Qatari prince refused to appear before the JIT to record his statement and instead invited the JIT to Doha in this regard.
He revealed that the JIT members could not agree on whether to go to Doha to record the statement, after which the matter was referred to the Supreme Court.
Later, the court allowed Nawaz and family to leave the proceedings.
The hearing was later adjourned till Friday.
During yesterday’s proceedings, Haris questioned Zia if there were any documents which proved that Nawaz currently is, or ever was, the beneficial owner of Avenfield properties. To this, Zia replied: “We don’t have documents to show that Nawaz was the beneficial owner.”
At that hearing, Zia informed the court that Nawaz’s elder son Hussain owned the Avenfield flats from 1993 to 1996.
When Maryam’s counsel Amjad Pervez objected to the claim, Zia said Hussain had informed the JIT of the same so the fact cannot be disputed. Zia also asserted that the signed documents submitted to the JIT by Nawaz’s children were bogus.


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