ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Friday reserved its decision pertaining to the prosecutor’s petition to produce fresh evidence in the Avenfield properties reference against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.
As the hearing went underway, Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir allowed Nawaz Sharif and Maryam a one-day exemption from being present in court while denying the defence’s one-week-long exemption plea and remarked that in case the defendants could not appear due to an unavoidable obligation the counsel may submit another exemption request.
Prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi told the court that National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) international cooperation wing has obtained additional documents related to the Avenfield and Flagship investment cases showing the registry record of the London flats, utility bills and council tax.
The prosecutor also told the court that the documents were received in response to the Panama case JIT’s letter and that NAB also received a response from the UK central authority.
He also claimed that the suspects attempted to conceal these documents.
In his arguments, Maryam’s counsel Amjad Pervez said that the witnesses in the case have already been cross-examined with regards to the registry record.
Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir is hearing the case.
According to details, NAB Operations Director General Zahir Shah will be the new witness and will show the new documents he has acquired from the British government before the court.
The NAB investigation officer and the DG operations will be the last two persons to record their statements regarding the case.
Nawaz and daughter Maryam are presently in London and will thus seek exemption from appearance today.
According to the documents acquired by Shah, the Sharif family’s London apartments were transferred to the possession of offshore companies Nielson and Nescoll in 1993-1995, and not in 2005-2006.
Nawaz Sharif, in his previous statements, has said that the Avenfield properties were transferred in the name of the companies in 2005-2006 and that they belonged to his children. Nawaz’s children Hussain and Hasan were young in 1993-95 and did not have any source of income. Therefore, they cannot be considered owners of the properties and thus the former premier was their real owner, the documents state.
The Avenfield properties reference is among three cases filed against Nawaz and his family by NAB in 2017 on the Supreme Court’s directives.