Accountability court hears Flagship, Al-Azizia references against Nawaz Sharif

  • Prosecution witness presents details of bank accounts owned by Nawaz, Hussain, Hassan
  • Nawaz says leaders of Bani Gala, Karachi bowed before newly-elected Senate chairman Sanjrani

ISLAMABAD: Accountability court started hearing Flagship and Al-Azizia references against Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday when he arrived at the Federal Judicial Complex.

Judge Mohammad Bashir, who is hearing the corruption case filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), has summoned five witnesses who will record their statements. A prosecution witness Noreen Shahzadi recorded her statement and submitted the documents related to Sharif family’s bank accounts.

The prosecution witness Shahzadi presented details of bank accounts held by the Nawaz Sharif, Hussain Nawaz and Hassan Nawaz. Nawaz’s lawyer Khawaja Haris raised objection over the documents provided by the witness. Judge Bashir remarked that the bank accounts of Hussain were illegible, directing the witness to submit a better copy of her documents.

Later on, Haris cross-examined the witness. NAB assistant director Waqar Ahmed and private bank employee Sher Khan also appeared before the court as witnesses to record their statements.

Talking to media upon arrival, Nawaz stressed that both leaders in Bani Gala and Karachi bowed before Sanjrani. He said a caretaker government could work only within the constitutional limits.

In the last two hearings, Nawaz was granted exemption from appearance on medical grounds.

On March 8, the court had rejected a plea filed by NAB for inclusion of Panama gate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) report as a part of the Avenfield case record. The request was made by Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director and Panama JIT head Wajid Zia after he appeared in court to record his statement against the former prime minister and his family during the day’s hearing.

NAB had initially filed three interim references – pertaining to Al-Azizia Steel Mills, Hill Metal Establishment and offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd and London flats – against the Sharif family in September last year after the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case to disqualify Nawaz as PM. The anti-graft body has also filed supplementary references.