–Deposed PM was issued notices to appear before NAB Rawalpindi and record statements in two supplementary references pertaining to Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship investments
ISLAMABAD: Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif failed to appear before the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Saturday to record his statements in two supplementary references — Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship investments — that are yet to be filed in the accountability court.
According to sources, the NAB Rawalpindi Office is preparing supplementary references in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment Ltd cases against the Sharifs. The supplementary references are likely to be filed next week in the accountability court hearing the ongoing cases against the former premier.
Since Nawaz did not act on NAB’s summons, the Bureau will file the references without his statement and the court will start hearing the case.
A NAB official said that if Nawaz Sharif had been out of the country, the Bureau would have first issued him a notice, reminding him to appear before the court to respond to the charges against him before the body files the references. But since he was present in Pakistan and still didn’t appear before the Bureau before the end of working hours, NAB will now file the references without the former prime minister’s statement.
Nawaz was summoned by the Rawalpindi NAB headquarters that is now being headed by Irfan Mangi, a member of the Panama Papers leaks Joint Investigation Team (JIT) formed by the Supreme Court to probe corruption allegations against the Sharif family.
Reports in the media that Mangi wanted to fulfill a legal requirement to get Nawaz acquainted with the evidence they had collected for supplementary references. However, it is unlikely that Nawaz will respond to any NAB summons, since he had kept away from Lahore NAB regional headquarters when he was summoned to record his statement over a supplementary reference regarding the Avenfield Properties against him a few weeks ago.
Nawaz and his family members are facing three corruption references in the accountability court — Avenfield Properties, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investments — in which they are accused of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets. A supplementary reference pertaining to their Avenfield Properties has already been filed.
According to sources, Nawaz believes that the matter is sub judice, therefore he is answerable to the court only.
The sources further said that the NAB has also received the script of an interview of Hussain Nawaz taken by Hamid Mir, a private TV anchor, which will be made part of the interim references.