Nawaz’s lawyer accuses Panama JIT of prejudice

  • Khawaja Haris says ex-PM did not refuse to respond to NAB notice for investigation
  • Says points that could have benefitted Nawaz were not touched by JIT


ISLAMABAD: Deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris on Wednesday accused the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of not carrying out an impartial probe against his client in the Panama Papers case.

The court was informed about the contents of the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) notice sent to Nawaz on August 18, 2017. The defence lawyer told the court that his client had never refused to respond to a NAB notice.

The notice asked my client to appear for verification of the statement given to the JIT probing the Panama Papers case, Haris informed the court, adding that Nawaz had given a statement to the investigation team in his defence.

“We did not tell NAB that we did not want to respond to the notice,” the lawyer contended, adding that the first notice sent by the anti-graft body was to inquire the accused about their defence.

Furthermore, Nawaz’s lawyer informed the court that a detailed response to the notice had been sent to NAB.

“Why were we being asked for defence by NAB?” Haris asked the court. He said that the anti-graft body had not conducted an investigation.

The prosecution itself admitted that there was no option available for filing a reference, he said.

He said the points that could have benefitted the accused were not touched by the investigation committee, Haris said. He added that there was a link between the Qatari letters and transactions.

The defence lawyer alleged that the JIT did not clearly explain the relevant record in the letters written to the Qatari royal family. He further added that nowhere was the transaction record or agreement mentioned in the letters.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Haris had reiterated that the prosecution failed to prove the ownership of the Sharif family’s London properties. He stated that his client was neither the beneficial owner of the London apartments nor had anything to do with the properties.

Nawaz and his family are facing three corruption cases in the accountability court after the NAB filed references against them in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case last year.