ISLAMABAD: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) witness Malik Tayyab Ahmed on Wednesday testified against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members before an accountability court here.
Accountability Judge Mohammad Bashir heard Azizia Steel Mills graft reference filed by the NAB in compliance with Supreme Court’s landmark July 28 verdict.
Advocated Zafir Khan Tareen represented Sharif in his absence after the court granted him a week-long exemption from personal appearance before the court.
Tayyab, who is associated with a private bank, shared the details of Sharif and his sons Hassan and Hussain Nawaz’s bank transactions that were carried out over the years.
The witness said Sharif withdrew $2,200 on February 7, 2017, and transferred $600,000 to his Pakistani currency account between March to May 2017.
The prosecution witness also provided details of Sharif family’s accounts in Euro and Pound Currencies.
He said Sharif’s eldest son Hussain transferred £25,000 to his father’s account in December 2010 and the same amount was transferred by Sharif to his Pakistani currency account in 2015.
Ahmed said Sharif had transferred £10 to his Pakistani currency account twice in 2016, adding, Hussain had transferred €1.1 million to Nawaz’s account in 2010 and €40,000 in 2012.
Meanwhile, Sharif issued five cheques worth €900,000 a total and transferred the amount to his Pakistani currency account on September 23, 2010, besides transferring €210,000 in April 2012 and €190,000 in November 2015, the prosecution witness informed the court.
The NAB also filed an application seeking inclusion of documents provided by Noreen Shahzad, who replaced Ahmed as branch manager of a private bank, in the witness record.
To which, Sharif’s lead counsel Hamid asked in what capacity Noreen Shahzad submitted documents to the court while pleading the court to delay the next hearing until it takes a decision regarding Shahzad’s inclusion in the case.
The accountability judge accepted the NAB plea. The court will resume hearing into the reference and recording the statement of NAB witness after reaching a decision on the matter.
At the last hearing on Tuesday, witness Ahmed, an employee of a private bank, informed the judge that Maryam received a cheque of Rs12 million on June 13, 2015, Rs 28.8 million on November 15, 2015, and Rs19.5 million on August 14, 2016.
As the witness was engaged in detailing the bank transactions of Sharifs, the judge then directed documenting the statements of two NAB witnesses, Umar Daraz and Mukhtar Ahmed, in the Avenfield and other references.
Subsequently, the witnesses were cross-examined by the defense lawyer.
Meanwhile, the former prime minister’s son-in-law, retired Captain Safdar, moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance for 15 days. The court is yet to announce its verdict on his request.
A day earlier, the accountability judge granted the request of the former prime minister to change his period of exemption from personal appearance, whereas dismissed the same plea of his daughter Maryam Nawaz.
Al-Azizia steel mills Reference
The anti-corruption watchdog has nominated Sharif and his two sons – Hasan and Hussain Nawaz – in two references regarding the Aziza Steel Mills, Hill Metals Establishment, and nearly dozen other companies owned by the Sharif family.
Ousted PM Sharif could face lifetime disqualification from holding a public office including the freezing of bank accounts, besides 14 years imprisonment on conviction in the references.