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Graft hearing against Sharifs adjourned till April 9

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Friday adjourned hearing of the Avenfield properties reference against former premier Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Safdar.

The hearing was put off till April 09 owing to the absence of Judge Muhammad Bashir.

Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law turned up in the court and left shortly after the hearing was postponed.

During the previous hearing, Defence counsel Khawaja Haris continued cross-examination of prosecution witness Wajid Zia, head of the Panama Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

Haris while questioning the witness on Nawaz Sharif’s contract of employment with Capital FZE, asked him about the deducted salary of 10,000 Dirhams, stated on the contract.

The prosecution witness expressed ignorance saying the employment contract was not prepared in front of him. But the actual amount of salary was AED100,000, which was deducted on paper, Zia added.

According to the prosecution witness, the JIT members who travelled to Dubai did not record the statement of the person who sealed the documents.

Sharif’s counsel asked the witness whether two members of the JIT went Dubai to bring the Capital FZE document. The witness said he will answer the question after seeing the document. Counsel Khawaja Haris said that the JIT report at page 7 of its first volume says the members went to bring the record.

Wajid Zia said that the JIT collected the record of Sharifs’ businesses in Dubai and gathered relevant evidence. He said the JIT especially went to Dubai to collect the documents of Capital FZE and the JIT members only brought the record of the company and the relevant evidence.

The witness confirmed payment of salary to Nawaz Sharif adding that the verification certificate has been submitted along with concerned documents. He said there was no need to authenticate the documents separately.

He said Nawaz Sharif received his last salary from Capital FZE on August 11, 2013 for the month of July.

Earlier, the court granted exemption request of Nawaz and Maryam from court appearance when the hearing began as they could not reach the federal capital from Lahore due to rough weather.

The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017.

The corruption references, filed against 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 Capt. Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference only.

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