Nawaz ‘baffled’ by NAB’s corruption references filed against him

  • Maryam moves IHC over accountability court’s permission to witnesses for recording statements via video link

ISLAMABAD: Expressing bewilderment over the corruption references filed against him, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that “his hands were clean” which is why he “appears before the courts on a regular basis”.

Nawaz, accompanied by daughter Maryam Nawaz, was talking to media after appearing before an accountability court that is hearing the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) corruption references filed against the Sharif family.

Speaking to a private media outlet, Nawaz said that he had never indulged in corrupt practices and had never committed any crime.

Over the course of the hearing, the court recorded the statement of the witness produced by NAB, Abdul Wahid, a director general at the Federal Information Ministry; other witnesses could not record their statements due to a shortage of time.

The prosecutor’s witness also handed over a CD to the court that contained recorded interviews of the Sharif scions—Hussain Nawaz and Maryam Nawaz, reported Online. He told the court that interviews were aired on December 29, just a day before the ousted premier gave his statement to the court.

Moreover, PML-N leader Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha raised an objection during the hearing when he pointed out that NAB’s prosecutor was speaking into the witness’ ear.

Afterwards, PML-N chief’s counsels Khawaja Harris and Amjad Pervez also conducted cross-questioning on the witness. During the cross-examination, Harris raised the objection that the witness was neither a writer nor signatory and that the witness was not even addressed.

Later on, the accountability court adjourned the hearing of the case till February 13.

Earlier, Nawaz and Maryam had arrived in Islamabad from Lahore to appear before the court; they were flanked by the senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders and the government officials, besides MNA Muhammad Safdar— Maryam’s husband.


Moreover, Maryam Nawaz and her husband Muhammad Safdar moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) over an accountability court’s decision to allow two witnesses to testify via video link in the Avenfield Apartments case.

On Feb 2, Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir had granted a request by a NAB prosecutor to record the testimonies of two witnesses through a video link at the Pakistan High Commission in London.

The petition, submitted by Maryam and Safdar’s counsel Amjad Pervaiz, sought the annulment of the decision that allows witnesses to testify via video link. The federation, NAB chairman and Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir — who made the decision — have been made a party to the case in the petition.

Two British nationals – Robert W Radley, the principal at the Radley Forensic Document Laboratory, and Akhtar Raja, the principal at the Quist Solicitors – have been named as prosecution witnesses in a supplementary reference filed in a case pertaining to the Sharif family’s London properties.

NAB Deputy Prosecutor General Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi told the court that the witnesses were unwilling to come to Pakistan due to security concerns and that there was no legal provision to produce a foreign witness. Judge Muhammad Bashir had said that witnesses could record their statements on Feb 6 and 7.


The NAB has in total filed three references against the Sharif family and another against the then-finance minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court, in light of the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.

The anti-graft body was given six weeks, from the date of the apex court’s order, to file the reference in an accountability court while the accountability court was granted six months to wrap up the proceedings.

The references against the Sharif family pertain to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, their London properties, and over dozen offshore companies owned by the family.

Maryam and Safdar are only nominated in the London properties reference. At an earlier hearing, the court also approved Maryam and Safdar’s bail in the Avenfield properties case and ordered them to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.

Safdar was also directed to take the court’s permission before leaving the country from now on. The judge also provided a copy of the reference — spread over 53 volumes — to Maryam and Safdar.

NAB’s Rawalpindi branch prepared two references regarding the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and the nearly dozen companies owned by the Sharif family.

Its Lahore branch prepared a reference on the Sharif family’s Avenfield apartments in London and another against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for owning assets beyond his known sources of income.

If convicted, the accused may face up to 14 years imprisonment and lifelong disqualification from holding public office including the freezing of bank accounts and assets.










  1. Why is he so baffled? Just produce all documents that he boasted about in the Parliament! And you will either end up with Adyala or…. well again Adyala. You asked for it.

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