- JIT head apprises court the certificate obtained from JAFZA does not mention Nawaz’s name
ISLAMABAD: Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia on Thursday informed the accountability court that the JIT did not probe the mode of payment to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from Capital FZE and wage protection system of the United Arab Emirates’ government.
As the hearing resumed on Tuesday, Khawaja Haris continued cross-examination of Zia in the Avenfield reference filed against the Sharif family.
Over the course of the hearing, the payment certificate obtained by the JIT from Jebal Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) was discussed.
Commenting on the certificate, Zia said that it was certified by JAFZA and clearly established a payment. However, the certificate did not mention Nawaz Sharif’s name, Zia said while responding to a question.
“In volume six of the report, the payment certificate attached contains the term ‘OTC’, what does it stand for,” Haris questioned Zia. “I can’t say for sure,” Zia replied. He also admitted that the JIT didn’t bother to know the meaning either as ‘argument was based on certificate, not contents’.
Wajid Zia also pleaded ignorance to another terms ‘WPS’ mentioned in the certificate. Upon which, Haris said according to the WPS [Wage Protection System] it is necessary to pay salaries via banks to all employees registered with a UAE company [Capital FZE].
The JIT head revealed that it did not come to the notice of the team that under the WPS, an OTC payment is not permissible. “JIT did not investigate how WPS works in Dubai, the banking channel can be the only mode of payment,” Zia said.
The JIT head admitted that the team prepared no recovery or memo of possession when they went to Dubai to obtain the documents.
Moreover, the JIT never confronted Hassan Nawaz regarding the documents concerning Capital FZE during his appearance before the court nor did it approach the company directors or the secretaries of Capital FZE during their visit to Dubai. No notice was sent to Nawaz or Hassan relating to the documents obtained, he went on to admit.
The Federal Investigation Agency additional director, Wajid Zia who led the Panama case joint investigation team (JIT) last year, was being cross-examined for the ninth time in the Avenfield reference. The reference is among three filed against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) last year on the Supreme Court’s (SC) directives.
Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir has been conducting corruption proceedings against the Sharif family since September last year.
At the last hearing on Thursday, Wajid Zia told the accountability court that Nawaz Sharif’s salary at his son Hassan Nawaz’s company, Capital FZ, was more than the stated salary on the employment contract.