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Flagship Investment Reference: Nawaz appears before accountability court

ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, arrived at the accountability court today (Monday) in a Flagship Investment Reference case hearing, ARY News reported.

Judge Arshad Malik will hear proceedings of the case.

The lawyer of Mr. Sharif, Khawaja Haris, will continue cross examination of investigation officer of the case, Muhammad Kamran.

In the last hearing, Haris had hinted to conclude cross-examination from probe officer of the prosecution. It is expected that former PM Sharif may get questionnaire from the court regarding Flagship Investment Reference.

The court put over 120 questions to Mr Sharif in the Avenfield properties reference and 151 in the Al-Azizia reference. The former prime minister has so far responded to 148 of the 151 questions.

Nawaz Sharif, during last hearing of the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case on Nov 22, told the accountability court that the prosecution had failed to prove charges against him.

The ex-PM said he had decided against defending charges framed against him in the case by NAB. “I am not putting forward anything in my defence in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills reference,” he told the court.

The former PM accused Panama Papers joint investigation team head Wajid Zia of falsely implicating him in the probe ‘based on hearsay’.

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.

On November 19, the Supreme Court gave three weeks to the accountability court to wrap up graft references against Nawaz Sharif.

The apex court issued the order in response to a request submitted by the accountability court seeking another extension to wind up Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Flagship Investment references against Nawaz Sharif.

The order was issued by the two-member SC bench. CJP Mian Saqib Nisar stated in his order that the Supreme Court would not grant further extension for completion of trial against the ex-PM.

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