Maryam’s lawyer says Nawaz never associated with Avenfield flats

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  • Court asks Amjad Pervaiz to conclude arguments on Monday

ISLAMABAD: The accountability court on Friday directed Maryam Nawaz’s counsel Amjad Pervaiz to conclude his final arguments in the Avenfield reference at the next hearing as it adjourned the case till Monday.

On Friday, Maryam Nawaz and her husband Capt (r) Muhammad Safdar’s lawyer Amjad Pervaiz commenced his final arguments in the Avenfield case, wherein he said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has nothing to do with the Avenfield properties. The Sharifs may have been linked to the London properties at some point, but Nawaz was never associated with them.

He contended that it was to be seen if the verdict of Queen’s bench was admissible evidence, adding that the summary of even that decision was not related to the indictment.

Over the course of the hearing, the defence counsel, while presenting witness Mazhar Raza Bangash’s letter, raised objections over its legitimacy. “Bangash said he presented the record in a sealed envelope, but the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) witness Zawar Manzoor, on the other hand, had said that the envelope was not sealed,” Pervez argued.

He further argued that Bangash had submitted photocopies of documents as evidence, which can’t be admissible to the court of law.

Moreover, he protested the absence of Shezi Naqvi — who had submitted an affidavit in the case and termed Rehman Malik’s report unofficial as the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had not accepted it.

The court summoned FIA Additional Director Wajid Zia, who headed the Panama case joint investigation team (JIT), on July 3 for the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference. The hearing has been adjourned until July 2.

On Thursday, the court had approved a one-day exemption request of the deposed prime minister and his daughter, who are in London to attend to ailing Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.

Maryam’s lawyer Amjad Pervez had presented his final arguments before Judge Muhammad Bashir.  He informed the court that he would not take a long time to present his concluding arguments. “I will complete my final arguments within 3-4 days,” he said.

The corruption references, filed against the Sharif family, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London. Nawaz and sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference only.