Al-Azizia case: NAB’s request to record Nawaz’s statement rejected


ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad accountability court Thursday rejected the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) request to record former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement under Section 342 of NAB Ordinance in Al-Azizia Steel Mills corruption reference.

Accountability court judge Arshad Malik, while hearing corruption references against Nawaz, had summoned joint investigation team (JIT) head Wajid Zia on Friday in Flagship investment case.

As the hearing began, defence counsel Khawaja Haris submitted a request in the court seeking one-day exemption from hearing for his client Nawaz Sharif, which was accepted.

During the hearing, NAB prosecutor requested the court to record former premier’s statement under Section 342 of NAB Ordinance in Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference prior to summoning Wajid Zia in Flagship Investment case.

However, Khawaja Haris opposed the request and contended that it was their stance from day one that they wanted the judgment in two references together. It was decided earlier that the first statement of JIT head would be recorded in Flagship Investment reference, he argued.

The NAB prosecutor adopted the stance that the court could fix a date to record the statement of accused in two cases.

Islamabad High Court (IHC), he said, had ordered that the three were separate references and couldn’t be heard together.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the court rejected the request of NAB and summoned Zia on Friday to testify in Flagship Investment reference.

The court also ordered the bureau to complete its evidence in Al-Azizia Steel Mills case till Friday.