Nawaz moves IHC against alleged alteration in Wajid Zia’s statement


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif on Saturday moved Islamabad High Court (IHC) against alleged alteration in prosecution’s star witness Wajid Zia’s statement in Al-Azizia reference case.

The plea accused Wajid Zia – the head of Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT) – of changing his statement during cross-examination on Aug 30. Nawaz Sharif in the plea has requested the court to exclude Zia’s statements recorded on August 30.

The plea further requested the court to allow Nawaz’s legal team to cross-examine Wajid Zia again. The judge of the accountability court has also been made plaintiff in the case.

Earlier, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor apprised the court that report was submitted by the defence lawyer. He further added that Nawaz Sharif received 88 per cent profit in the Hill Metal Establishment.

In Thursday’s hearing, Khawaja Haris, the lead lawyer of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, accused the accountability judge of tampering the record in the Al-Azizia and Hill Metal Establishment reference, as the court gave directions to the authorities concerned to submit relevant parts of the Panama Papers JIT report’s Volume 10.

During Wajid Zia’s cross-examination, Haris alleged that Accountability Court-II Judge Arshad Malik altered the statements of the prosecution’s star witness on the insistence of NAB prosecutor. This, he added, was done during the witness’s cross-examination without providing him with an opportunity to contest the prosecutor’s assertion.

“I will not continue … I will ask Mian sahab [Nawaz Sharif] to change his lawyer … I will not become a party to the proceedings … these proceedings have become farcical,” Haris said before leaving the courtroom. “I will not allow any court to tamper the record,” he said, adding that the court made the change without listening to him.

He said the judge should have listened to NAB’s objection, taken his answer, written a new sentence instead of changing the previous one but the judge simply changed the sentence on the NAB prosecutor’s objection.

“The learned court changed the already recorded answer given by the witness in cross-examination by deleting the words “it is incorrect to suggest” and adding another sentence as part of this witness’s statement in the form of a suggestion,” four associates of Haris stated in an application seeking adjournment till Monday to enable the defence team to avail remedy against the change.

The application read that the defence intends to challenge the change made in the recording of the deposition of Zia and to put the record straight. The counsel prayed for adjournment till Monday so that they could avail remedy from the Islamabad High Court, which was granted.


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