Nawaz, Maryam, Safdar appear before accountability court in corruption references

LHC Judge recuses from hearing Sharif's plea against Avenfield verdict

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, and son-in-law retired Captain Safdar have arrived at an accountability court for the hearing of corruption references filed against them by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Sharif and his daughter arrived at Islamabad airport from Lahore via special plane. After brief stay at Punjab House, they headed to the court amid tight security.
Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir is to resume trial of the former premier and members of his family in the case filed against them in compliance with the Supreme Court July 28 verdict.
At the previous hearing, a prosecution witness, Abdul Wahid, a director general at Directorate of Electronic Media and Publications (DEMP), provided CDs containing the interviews Sharif’s son Hussain Nawaz.
He informed the judge that he had previously provided the anti-graft body with the CDs containing Sharif’s address to nation and speech at parliament.
At the start of the proceedings, Sharif’s lead counsel Khawaja Harris argued that the three CDs provided by the prosecution were damaged as an error of insupportable format prompted. Later, the CDs were played at the courtroom. “The player is supporting the videos’ format and CDs are absolutely fine,” quipped Deputy Prosecution General NAB Sardar Muzaffar Abbas.
Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Harris cross-examined the NAB witness.
The accountability court had earlier approved a plea filed by the NAB to record statements of two UK-based prosecution witnesses via video link.
According to the reference filed by NAB, Sharif is the actual owner of the London properties, which he had bought in the name of his children.
It alleges Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz and son Hussain Nawaz provided fake documents to a joint investigation team appointed to probe the ruling family’s wealth with regard to the flats in a pricey London neighbhourhood.
The reference states that the Sharifs failed to provide the money trail behind the purchase of the Avenfield flats and the Trust Deed between Maryam and Hussain presented to the JIT found to be fake.
Naming Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz, sons – Hussain and Hasan – and son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar as accused in the reference, it maintains they have committed corruption, which is punishable act under Section 10 of the National Accountability Ordinance.
It further says that an investigation against, Tariq Shafi, former premier’s cousin, Saeed Ahmed, President National Bank of Pakistan, Javed Kayani and Mosa Ghani was also underway.
The supplementary reference included seven witnesses, including expert of the Radley Forensic Document Laboratory in London, Robert W. Radley and solicitor.
TV interviews of the former premier, Maryam, Hasan and Hussain have also been made a part of the evidence.


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