Islamabad (April 06, 2018): The hearing of Avenfield Ref Case adjourned until April, 9, as judge Muhammad Bashir was unable to reach AC due to health issues on Friday.
According to the details, Accountability Court-I Judge Mohammad Bashir, who has been conducting corruption proceedings against the Sharif family since September last year, not presided over the hearing as he is unwell. During today’s hearing, Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris was expected to continue his cross-examination of Wajid Zia, the Federal Investigation Agency additional director who headed the Panama case joint investigation team (JIT) which probed the Sharif family’s assets last year.
Today would have been the eighth time Zia was cross-examined after having recorded his statement in the case over six hearings earlier.
Earlier, Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam have arrived in Islamabad from Lahore to attend the hearing of the Avenfield properties reference against them. At Thursday’s hearing, Zia had informed the court that they obtained the employee records of Capital FZE — Nawaz’s son’s company which had employed the former premier — from Jabal Ali Free Zone Authority.
Zia stated that screenshots of the payment sheets do not contain Nawaz’s name, adding that neither is there a receipt or bank record of receiving a salary.When Haris commented that there is no mention of Nawaz ever having received a salary from the UAE-based company, Zia asserted that though the name is not mentioned the documents are related to the former premier.
The case of the Sharif family’s London flats is based on a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the Supreme Court’s directives last year.
The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017.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.