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Hearing of Al-Azizia Steel Mills Reference Adjourned Until July 9

Islamabad (July 04, 2018): Hearing of Al-Azizia Steel Mills Reference against Sharif Family adjourned today until July 09 due to the absence of Judge Muhammad Bashir.

Duty Judge Arshad Malik resumed today’s hearing, counsel of Nawaz Sharif, Khawaja Haris said we want the case to proceed in presence of Judge Muhammad Bashir.

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Decission in one reference is about to be announced, after which situation will be changed, said Khawaja Haris.Duty Judge said he does not have any objection and adjourned the hearing until July 09.

Yesterday, Nawaz’s defense counsel Khawaja Haris continued cross-examination of prosecution’s star witness and former head of Panamagate joint investigation team (JIT) Wajid Zia.

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During the hearing National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor objected over defense counsel’s questioning pertaining to documents never admitted as evidence in court.

In response, Haris asserted that the star witness had made the defense hear Zia’s unending story, and now objections are being raised over cross-examination.The AC had continued the hearing without the presence of Nawaz and Maryam as they had been granted a two-day exemption from court appearances owing to Kulsoom Nawaz’s illness. The hearing was later adjourned until today (July 04) when the cross-examination will resume.Earlier, Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head and prosecution’s main witness Wajid Zia said he did not come across any document during the investigation which showed that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif is the owner of Al-Azizia Steel Mills.

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As per the bank statement, Nawaz’s son Hussain Nawaz sent him an amount worth US$1.1 million as a ‘gift’ from July 5, 2010, to June 30, 2011. “It is true that the dollars sent to Nawaz were a gift from his son,” Zia remarked.

Nawaz should have declared the amount in the wealth statement for 2010-2011, Zia added.

The National Accountability Bureau prosecutor Wasiq Malik remarked that there is no need to compare the bank statement with tax record, adding “our case is different”.Zia, who is appearing before the court of accountability judge Muhammad Bashir, has already recorded his statement in both Avenfield and Al-Azizia references against the Sharif family.

Earlier, the prosecution’s star witness in the Al Azizia reference, Wajid Zia, completed recording his statement in the accountability court.

Zia, a Federal Investigation Agency additional director, headed the Panama case Joint Investigation Team (JIT) that probed the Sharif family’s assets last year.He has already testified in the Avenfield properties reference.

AC To Announce Avenfield Reference Verdict on July 6:

The accountability Court hearing corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members reserved verdict of Avenfield Reference case as the judgment will be announced on July 06, Friday.

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After the completion of, Amjad Pervez arguments accountability court judge Muhammad Bashir Jummah reserved the judgment and ruled that the verdict will be announced on July 6, Friday.

The corruption references, filed against the Sharifs, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Limited, and Avenfield properties of London.

Nawaz and his 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.

The court originally had a deadline of six months which ended in mid-March but was extended for two months after the judge requested the apex court.Later, the deadline was extended twice more, with the new date falling somewhere around July 10 now.

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.

Related News:

AC Adjourns Hearing Of Al-Azizia Steel Mills Reference