Islamabad (November 16, 2018): Former Premier of the country and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Supremo Nawaz Sharif has reached the Accountability Court today where he will continue to record the statement in Al-Azizia Steel Mills Reference case.
According to details, Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik will hear the case as Former Premier Nawaz Sharif will answer the leftover questions from the questionnaires for the third consecutive day.
Nawaz Sharif has answered 90 of the 151 questions posed to him by the court in the corruption reference in past two days.Earlier yesterday (November 15), Former premier Nawaz Sharif while recording his statement in the Al-Azizia reference distanced himself from Qatari Prince Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani’s letters which the Sharif family had presented as evidence in the Supreme Court during proceedings of the Panama case.
“I have no relation with the Qatari prince’s letters,” the former premier said before an accountability court in Islamabad.
Click Play Button To Watch This Video
The Sharif family had submitted letters from the Qatari royal family before the Supreme Court last year.
Accountability court judge Muhammad Arshad Malik resumed hearing the Al-Azizia corruption reference, filed by the National Accountability Bureau last year on Supreme Court orders.Responding to a question, Nawaz asserted, “I was not a part of any transaction in any capacity. My name has not been mentioned in any document.”
The former premier also raised reservations over the statements of Wajid Zia, prosecution’s star witness and Panama gate JIT head. While answering the questions, Nawaz also constantly consulted his counsel, Khawaja Haris.
In response to another question, the former premier said, “The records of our business was seized after martial law was imposed in 1999. We filed complaints in this regard but no action was taken.”“Judge Sb, this not only happened with us in 1999 but has always happened. It is a painful story of our family,” he added.
The former premier continued, “In 1972, Pakistan’s biggest steel mill — Ittefaq Foundry — was nationalised. No one even asked whether we had money to eat.”
“I was not even a politician back in 1972 and entered politics in the 1980s,” Nawaz said.
Further, the former premier said, “The JIT’s Volume X is a mere investigative report and not acceptable evidence. I am not a witness to any document submitted by the JIT other than my tax records.”
“I had provided the JIT with my tax records,” he added.Nawaz continued, “Mutual legal assistants (MLA) were presented as evidence against me. The MLA from Saudi Arabia did not respond while the response from the one in United Arab Emirates (UAE) was factually incorrect.”
The accountability court is adjourned until November 17 to wrap up the remaining two corruption references – Al-Azizia and Flagship Investments – against the Sharif family.
The Supreme Court had granted final extension to the court last month, after its deadline to conclude the trials against the Sharifs had ended on October 7.
It is worth mentioning here that the cases against Nawaz family stemmed from the Panama Papers leak that disclosed expensive and undeclared property allegedly owned by them in London. Former PM Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Captain Safdar were convicted and sentenced to prison for ten years, seven years and one year respectively in Avenfield verdict.
However, the convictions were suspended by Islamabad High Court and they were released from Adiala jail till final decision.
The trial against the Sharif family commenced on September 14, 2017.
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.