Abb Takk News

AC Resumes Hearing in Three References against Sharif Family

Islamabad (January 03, 2018): The accountability court conducting corruption proceedings against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam, and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar has begun the hearing.

According to the details, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain (r) Safdar on Wednesday have reappeared in accountability court in National Accountability Bureau (NAB) references.

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During the hearing headed by Justice Mohammad Bashir, prosecution witness Tasleem Khan recorded his statement, saying he went to NAB office on Commissioner Inland Revenue Fizza Batool’s directives and submitted wealth tax record of Nawaz Sharif and his sons while Jahangir Ahmed present income tax record.

Arguing on Tasleem Khan’s statement, Khawaja Haris asked whether the record was verified in front of him over which Khan responded, “No”, adding that Fizza Batool is till Commission Inland Revenue.

Afterwards, the witness also shook hand with former premier.The proceedings were initiated after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) filed three references against Nawaz and his family in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 judgment in the Panama Papers case.

The three references pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and London’s Avenfield properties.

A number of senior cabinet members and leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) were present at the Federal Judicial Complex where the court is situated.

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Speaking to the media on his way to the court, Safdar said the time has come to bring former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf back to Pakistan to face the courts.

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NAB was expected to produce two more witnesses today to record their statements.

After them, NAB’s last witness — Federal Investigation Agency Additional Director Wajid Zia — will remain from the list of witnesses originally submitted by NAB.

Zia headed the Panama case Joint Investigation Team which produced a crucial report leading to Nawaz’s disqualification by the Supreme Court.

The references:

The NAB has in total filed three references against the Sharif family and another against the then-Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the accountability court, in light of the Supreme Court’s orders in the Panama Papers case verdict of July 28.

The anti-graft body was given six weeks, from the date of the apex court’s order, to file the reference in an accountability court while the accountability court was granted six months to wrap up the proceedings.The references against the Sharif family pertain to the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, their London properties, and over dozen offshore companies allegedly owned by the family.

Maryam and Safdar are only nominated in the London properties reference. At an earlier hearing, the court also approved Maryam and Safdar’s bail in the Avenfield properties case and ordered them to submit surety bonds worth Rs5 million each.

Safdar was also directed to take the court’s permission before leaving the country from now on. The judge also provided a copy of the reference — spread over 53 volumes — to Maryam and Safdar.NAB’s Rawalpindi branch prepared two references regarding the Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment, and the nearly dozen companies owned by the Sharif family.

Its Lahore branch prepared a reference on the Sharif family’s Avenfield apartments in London and another against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for owning assets beyond his known sources of income.

If convicted, the accused may face up to 14 years imprisonment and lifelong disqualification from holding public office including the freezing of bank accounts and assets.

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