ISLAMABAD: Former premier Nawaz Sharif on Monday appeared before the Accountability Court to attend the hearing of the Flagship Investment reference case.
The defence counsel told the trial court that he would try to conclude his cross-examining in the next hearing. He also prayed the accountability court to provide a questionnaire to accused to record his statement under Section 342. Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik conducted the hearing on a graft reference against Sharif family members filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
As the hearing began, Haris continued his cross-examination of with NAB IO Muhammad Kamran. The NAB IO informed the court that he had received the land registry of Plot No 99 and 97 from Zahir Shah in response to a mutual legal assistance (MLA), adding that the titles of both were different as they were separate properties. Kamran said that he had not received the documents in accordance with his application description sent to seek the property information. He said that he had not found the evidence against Hassan Nawaz for his involvement in any irregularity in Britain related to his business.
Khawaja Haris raised the questions regarding the way of provision of joint investigation team (JIT) report to the NAB IO. At this, the judge told the defence to only ask the relevant questions no matter from where the NAB had collected the report.
Later, the court adjourned the hearing of the case till tomorrow, wherein Haris would continue his cross-examination of Muhammad Kamran.
Earlier, Nawaz Sharif had said that the NAB prosecutor had failed to provide evidence to prove his indictment in the case. He also refused to present any witness in his defence.
It is worth mentioning here that the cases against the Sharif family stemmed from the Panama Papers leak that disclosed expensive and undeclared properties allegedly owned by them in London.
The former premier, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar were convicted and sentenced to prison for ten years, seven years and one year respectively in the Avenfield verdict. The convictions were however suspended by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
Earlier on November 19, the Supreme Court (SC) had granted a further three-week extension to the accountability court hearing the Al-Azizia and Flagship references against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to wrap up the cases, as the latter claimed that the Panamagate Joint Investigation Team’s (JIT) probe against him was biased and politically motivated.
Responding to Accountability Judge Arshad Malik’s request for more time to conclude the anti-graft trials against the former premier, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar said that this will be the final extension for the trials, and no more time will be given afterwards.
On November 16, Nawaz had distanced himself from the ownership of Al-Azizia Steel Mills, a day after he refused to own up the Qatari letters that were submitted to the top court in his favour during the hearing of the Panama Papers case.
Recording his statement before the accountability court hearing, Nawaz had admitted that he had received money from outside the country but had added that 77 per cent of it was gifted to his daughter, Maryam Nawaz.