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‘JIT report lacked evidence,’ Nawaz tells court in Al-Azizia case hearing

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, during hearing of the Al Azizia Steel Mills reference on Monday, told the accountability court that the report prepared by the joint investigation team was based on prejudice and lacked evidence, ARY News reported.

Recording his statement before the court, Sharif said amount transferred to his bank account was not concealed and the Federal Board of Revenue had all records of it.

Accountability court Judge Arshad Malik chaired the proceedings.

Nawaz Sharif said he had also furnished his income tax returns, wealth investment details and other necessary documents before the joint investigation team.

“It’s surprising to note if my children indulge in business at home, the problem arises for some people…and in case they do the business abroad, the problem still persists… I believe they made the right decision to have their business overseas,” the former PM said before the judge.

Khawaja Haris, the lawyer of ex-PM is also likely to cross examine the investigation officer, Muhammad Kamran.

The Supreme Court had given Nov 17 deadline to wrap up the cases, however, it is the sixth time the accountability court sought extension to wind up Al Azizia Steel Mills case and Flagship Investment Reference.

In the last hearing on Nov 15, Nawaz Sharif disassociated himself from the letters of Qatari Prince Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al-Thani’s, which the Sharif family had submitted as an evidence during the proceedings of Panama case last year.

While recording his statement before the accountability court in the Al-Azizia corruption reference hearing, Nawaz said, “I have no relation with the Qatari prince’s letters.”

Mr. Sharif had submitted answers of 44 questions out of total 50 in the reference on November 14. He said remaining questions were complicated in nature hence he needed further examination before filing an answer.

According to the charge sheet against the former premier in the Al-Azizia reference, Mr Sharif has been accused of owning assets which are disproportionate to his known sources of income. It says transactions have been carried out between Mr Sharif’s family members and their companies without any plausible explanation and consideration.

The National Accountability Bureau had filed three references on Sept 8, 2017 against Mr Sharif and his family, and another reference against former finance minister Ishaq Dar. The three references against the Sharif family are related to the Flagship Investment Ltd, the Avenfield (London) properties and Al-Azizia Company and Hill Metal Establishment.

On July 28 last year, the Supreme Court had disqualified Mr Sharif from holding the office of prime minister and also directed NAB to file four references against the Sharif family and Mr Dar in a trial court.



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