Islamabad(April, 20): Hearing of Avenfield on Friday resumed in accountability court of Islamabad. Former PM Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz not appeared before the court due to their London visit.
The National Accountability Bureau is expected to produce a new witness in the Avenfield properties reference against the Sharif family today.Accountability Court Judge Mohammad Bashir is hearing the Avenfield properties reference against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family filed by NAB in 2017 on the Supreme Court’s directives.
According to sources, NAB Operations Director General Zahir Shah will be the new witness. He will also submit fresh evidence against the accused that he has acquired from the British government.Nawaz’s counsel has opposed the plea to submit the fresh evidence. The court will hear arguments from both sides on the issue and then decide on the plea.
While talking to the newsmen outside the Harley Street Hospital, the former premier said that he did not know either he would be granted exemption or not. He urged the nation to pray for her wife’s good health and for that of all patients in the world.Earlier on April 17, the counsel of Maryam Nawaz had concluded his cross examination of Wajid Zia in Avenfield Reference, Judge Muhammad Bashir adjourned the hearing of the case until April 20.
Maryam’s counsel Amjad Pervez resumed his cross-examination of Wajid Zia, an additional director at the Federal Investigation Agency who headed the Panama case joint investigation team (JIT) which probed the Sharif family’s assets last year.Zia informed the court today about the various correspondence of the JIT with regards to the London flats.
Later, Pervez concluded his cross-examination of the ‘star witness’.
During the hearing, the prosecution’s requested to submit as evidence three MLAs [mutual legal assistance] produced by Zia today was dismissed. Moreover, NAB filed another request in court today to submit the JIT’s correspondence with the British government. The court issued notices to the defence and sought replies.
Later, the hearing of the Avenfield case was adjourned until April 20 whereas Zia was summoned to record his statement in the Al Azizia Steel Mills reference on April 23.
NAB Acquires New Documents About Avenfield Properties:
NAB has acquired new documents from London which state that the Sharif family’s London apartments were transferred to the possession of offshore companies Nielson and Nescoll in 1993-1995.
According to NAB sources, the Avenfield properties were transferred to the offshore companies at the time when Nawaz Sharif’s children, Hussain and Hasan, were young and did not have any source of income.Therefore, they cannot be considered owners of the properties and thus the former premier was their real owner.
The Avenfield properties reference is among three cases filed against Nawaz and his family by NAB in 2017 on the Supreme Court’s directives.
In various statements, Nawaz has said the Avenfield properties were transferred in the name of the companies in 2005-2006 and that they belonged to his children.
The hearing of the Avenfield properties case is presently under way in the accountability court of Islamabad.
Background of The Cases:
The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017.
NAB to file three supplementary references against Nawaz
The corruption references, filed against the Sharifs, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.Nawaz and sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law Safdar are 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.