ISLAMABAD: The accountability court on Monday recorded Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia’s statement in the Flagship corruption reference against ousted premier Nawaz Sharif.
The top court while hearing the Flagship reference was informed that the JIT wrote to the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities to request Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) and received a response from the latter.
As the hearing went underway, Zia told the court that he was nominated by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) after the Supreme Court ordered the formation of a JIT to investigate the Panama Papers case.
Moreover, JIT was further asked to probe the ownership of Flagship Investments, as well as the source of the money used to set up the company.
“The investigation team was also supposed to find out if Nawaz’s sons, Hassan and Hussain Nawaz, were his dependents in 1989-1990,” Zia said.
Zia also submitted the statement of Sharif’s cousin Tariq Shafi in the court, to which Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris objected and said that “the statement was inadmissible in the case as Shafi was neither a suspect nor a witness in the case”.
Haris also pointed out that Shafi’s statement was not verified as is required by law and could not be submitted as testimony. Following this, Zia said that it would take two to three days to submit complete evidence in the case.
According to the charge-sheet the former premier told the JIT that he was a shareholder in 15 companies, including Flagship Invest¬ments, Hartstone Properties, Que Holdings, Quint Eaton Place 2, Quint Saloane, Quaint, Flagship Securities, Quint Gloucester Place, Quint Paddington, Flagship Developments, Alanna Services (BVI), Lankin SA (BVI), Chadron, Ansbacher, Coomber and Capital FZE, Dubai.
The charge-sheet further read that “the record of assets submitted by Nawaz for Hassan from 1990-1995.”
Earlier, in the Flagship Investment reference, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia and the investigation officer are yet to appear before the court to record their statements in the case.
On August 27, SC had directed accountability court to conclude the trial within six weeks.
The Supreme Court had initially set a six-month deadline to conclude the four corruption references against the Sharif family.
In 2017, the trial against the Sharif family commenced, following which, on July 6, after four extensions in the original six-month deadline to conclude all three cases, the court announced its verdict in the Avenfield reference.
Nawaz and his sons, Hussain and Hasan, are accused in all three references whereas Maryam and Safdar were accused in the Avenfield reference only.
The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.
On July 10, the Supreme Court granted another six-week extension for Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir to conclude the remaining corruption references against Nawaz and former finance minister Ishaq Dar.