ISLAMABAD: Ex-PM Nawaz Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris, while giving final arguments in Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment references on Friday, informed Accountability Court Judge Arshad Malik that the documents, for which an MLA (Mutual Legal Assistance) was written to the UAE government, were not available on record.
When Khawaja Haris quoted Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head Wajid Zia as saying that there was no transaction of 12 million dirhams, the judge asked how the payment was made for the Gulf Steel. Was there a bank guarantee or some other payment mode, he asked.
The defence counsel replied that when Wajid Zia had disclosed about such a transaction, he was not sure about it. Wajid Zia had told a lie that he had tried to contact the children of Muhammad Hussain, a partner in Gulf Steel, he alleged.
He maintained that the JIT had not investigated 75 per cent shares sale agreement. When the MLA’s answer was received, the JIT tried to make the Gulf Steel sale accord ambiguous by saying that the matter was closed now, he added.
The defence counsel said the JIT also avoided to include Abdullah Kahli in the investigation process, besides not recording statements of witnesses of 25 per cent shares sale agreement, claiming that the witnesses were tried to contact.
He said that the JIT members did not visit the UAE’s foreign ministry and the Pakistani embassy though the two had attested the agreement of 1980 as per their stamps affixed on its backside. The JIT stated that it did not find the record of agreement from the UAE court, he added.
The judge observed that there was no proof that Tariq Shafi was the ‘benamidar’ for Mian Sharif, which was also admitted by the JIT. Mian Sharif had never stated that Tariq Shafi was his ‘benamidar’, he added.
The judge hailed the defence counsel for giving such arguments and adjourned the hearing till Monday.
It may be mentioned that Judge Arshad Malik on Friday sought more time from the Supreme Court to conclude the two references against the Sharif family and later granted more time till December 24.