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Hearing of Al Azizia Reference Underway in AC

Islamabad(May  14, 2018): Hearing of Al Azizia Steel Mills Reference Case Against Sharif Family is underway in the accountability court, Wajid Zia being crossed examined.

According to the details, former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz are present in the court of judge Muhammad Bashir, who is hearing the corruption cases against Sharif Family.

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Nawaz and his family are facing three corruption cases in the accountability court after NAB filed references against them in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Panama Papers case last year.

During last hearing on Friday, Wajid Zia produced the original letter of Hamad Bin Jassim which was dated July 17, 2017, and addressed to JIT. Copies of cover letters of the Qatari prince were also produced before the court. The defence team raised objections that the documents did not bear a stamp or seal of the officials signing the said documents.Zia also produced attested copy of the response JIT received from the United Arab Emirates upon its request for Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) dated June 28, 2017. A copy of the Arabic version of the MLA response was also placed before the court. Attested copy of a chart reflecting major transaction in accounts of Nawaz, daughter Maryam Nawaz from son Hussain Nawaz and Hill Metals was also produced. The court, however, directed the witness to produce a legible copy of the chart.The defense again raised an objection that this document qualified as part of the JIT investigation report and therefore was not admissible in evidence.

Nawaz’s lawyer Khawaja Haris continued raising objections to Zia’s statements, which irked the prosecution team led by NAB prosecutor Sardar Muzaffar Abbasi. “This is wasting the court’s time and disrupting the tempo of the witness. These objections are unnecessary,” Abbasi protested.

Background Of The Cases:

The trial against the Sharif family commenced on September 14, 2017 with a six-month deadline.

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.NAB had earlier filed interim references in all three cases and later added supplementary references to them with new evidence and witnesses.

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.

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