NAB Court adjourns corruption cases hearing against Sharif family till March 29

Nawaz, Maryam and Safdar’s parole to end today

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court conducting corruption proceedings against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain (retd) Safdar adjourned the Al-Azizia and Flagship references hearing today after the primary witness was not in court to record his statement.
Nawaz earlier arrived in Islamabad from Murree to attend the hearing along with his daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three interim corruption references against the Sharif family in September last year in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case. The bureau recently filed supplementary references in all three cases as well.
Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director Wajid Zia, who headed the Panama Papers case joint investigation team (JIT), was expected to record his statement in court today.
Zia has been recording his statement in the Avenfield properties reference against Nawaz and his family, which is being heard separately by the same court.
As Zia did not appear in court, reportedly due to official commitments, the hearing was adjourned until March 29 with directions issued to Zia to be present in court at the next hearing.
At the last hearing of the two references on March 14, three prosecution witnesses, Noreen Shahzadi, an employee of a private bank, NAB assistant director Waqar Ahmed and financial expert Sher Khan recorded their statements and submitted relevant documents in court.
The corruption references, filed against the Sharif family, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.
Nawaz and sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference only.
The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.

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