Avenfield case: Maryam’s counsel objects to ‘evidence’ submitted by Zia


–Nawaz’s counsel submits request seeking clarity on documents former JIT chief intends to submit in court

–Deposed PM says courts will now have to prove that the accusations against him are true 

ISLAMABAD: Former Panama case joint investigation team (JIT) head Wajid Zia recorded his statement on Tuesday as an accountability court resumed hearing of the Avenfield properties case against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.

Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir presided over the hearing. Zia also submitted several documents to court while recording his statement, many of which were objected to by Maryam’s counsel.

The documents submitted by Zia included the Iqama of Nawaz, flow charts of the offshore companies owned by the Sharif family, transaction statements of numerous companies, the trust deeds of Nielsen, Nescol and Coomber Group, the reply of UAE embassy and Robert Redly’s forensic report on Calibri font.

Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer Amjad Pervez said that the Jabal Ali Free Zone Authority documents were not attested by the notary public and diplomatic agent. Hence, these documents should not even be part of the courtroom record.

Former prime minister submitted a request to the court seeking clarity on the documents that have been and can be submitted by Wajid Zia regarding the case.

Later, Nawaz and Maryam left the court after the judge permitted them to do so while the hearing was underway.

The hearing was later adjourned until March 22, when Zia will appear for the first time to record his statement in the other two references against Nawaz.

At the last hearing on March 16, Maryam’s counsel Amjad Pervez and Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris questioned the legality of the evidence being presented by Zia and objected that they are copies of photocopies and unverified documents.

At an earlier hearing, Wajid Zia presented former Qatari Prince Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani’s letter defending the Sharif family as evidence in court, as the hearing of the Avenfield reference resumed on Thursday.

The defence counsel did not raise any objections to the admissibility of the Qatari letter as evidence.

The letter, written by Thani, owes up to Nawaz’s previous allegations and claims that such letters exist. In July 2017, the JIT declared the Sharif family’s prime and final defence – the letters from Qatari Prince Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani – as “totally a myth rather than a reality”, adding that the ruling family had never invested 12 million dirhams in the Qatari royal family’s business.


Talking to the media before the hearing, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif said that accountability should be started from 1937, as that is when ‘God started blessing’ the Sharifs, adding that they are just after his “father’s business”.

The former premier questioned as to why new cases were being filed against them when nothing was found out in the old ones.

Referring to the Pakistan People’s Party’s government, he said that the corruption was proved in rental power and NICL cases.

He said that now the courts will have to prove that the accusations are true and that these new references are just like a ‘Dilip Kumar film’.

Responding to a reporter’s question, Nawaz Sharif said he thanks Allah that Amir Liaquat didn’t join the PML-N.

Meanwhile, he also ignored a question regarding former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar, saying that only those matters should be discussed for which they are present in the court.

His daughter Maryam Nawaz added that the cases against the Sharifs are lifeless, adding that since the courts have blamed them for the corruption they should prove it too.

Talking about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s leader Imran Khan, she said even when he accepted his offshore properties the courts told him that he had not done anything wrong.

Maryam Nawaz was likely referring to the acquittal of Imran in the offshore companies’ case by the SC last year and the recent incident wherein he was accused of building the Bani Gala estate illegally and he had submitted the falsified documents to the SC.