UAE did not verify letter of credit for shifting machinery for Al-Azizia Mills, Zia tells court | Pakistan Today

UAE did not verify letter of credit for shifting machinery for Al-Azizia Mills, Zia tells court

ISLAMABAD: Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia Monday informed the Accountability Court of Islamabad that the copy of letter of credit (L/C) provided by accused Hussain Nawaz, in support of his stance regarding shifting of machinery from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Saudi Arabia for establishing Al-Azizia Steel Mills in Jeddah, was not verified by the UAE authorities.

Hussain Nawaz had told JIT that the machinery was shifted from the UAE to Jeddah , Zia said during the cross-examination by defence lawyer Khawaja Haris on the sixth consecutive day in the Flagship Investment reference.

Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik conducted hearing of reference against former prime minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif filed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Accused Nawaz Sharif appeared before the court.

Prosecution witness Wajid Zia deposed that the JIT had sent a mutual legal assistance (MLA) to the UAE for verification of the letter of credit and to get information about the shifting of machinery. However, in response, the JIT had received information only about the machinery.

He said that the JIT had asked in the MLA only legal questions regarding the shifting of machinery from the UAE authorities.

The defense counsel asked the JIT head that under which section of the NAB Ordinance the MLA was sent to the UAE government.

The law ministry, Zia said, had permitted the JIT to send such MLAs under section 21 of NAB Ordinance.

However, the NAB prosecutor objected that the defence side was not authorised to ask such questions from the JIT head as he was not a law expert.

Accepting the NAB’s objection, the court asked Nawaz Sharif’s counsel to concentrate on only questions related to the reference.

Zia informed the court that the JIT had written two letters to Qatri Prince Hammad bin Jassim to record his statement but he refused to appear before the team. Later, the prince conditionally agreed to record his statement in Doha but the JIT was not ready to fulfill his demand regarding provision of the questionnaire, he said.

The court adjourned the case till Tuesday, when Khawaja Haris will continue cross examination of Wajid Zia.

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