ISLAMABAD: Ousted Prime Minister (PM) Nawaz Sharif and his sons skipped National Accountability Bureau (NAB)’s grilling session at its Lahore office which was scheduled at 11am today (Friday) with regard to Al-Aziza Steel Mills case.
The PML-N spokesperson, Asif Kirmani, had already announced that deposed PM Sharif would not turn up before NAB’s investigators.
Earlier, the anti-graft body had served subpoenas to Sharif and his sons, asking them to appear before its investigating team in connection with the investigation in Al-Azizia Steel Mills case, the first of many cases that it would investigate.
On July 28, the Supreme Court had disqualified Sharif under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution and directed NAB to file four references in the Rawalpindi accountability court within six weeks. These references are to be filed on the basis of the material collected by the Joint Investigation Team constituted by the court to investigate the Sharif family’s offshore assets as revealed by the Panama Papers.
NAB has to file a reference against Sharif, his children – Maryam Nawaz, Hussain and Hassan Nawaz, and son-in-law retired Capt Muhammad Safdar pertaining to the family’s four flats in a upscale London neighbourhood.
Another reference related to Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment and one regarding 16 other companies were also ordered.
The fourth reference has to be filed against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar for possessing assets and funds disproportionate to his known sources of income.
Earlier this week, Nawaz Sharif has approached the Supreme Court challenging his disqualification verdict and seeking a stay order against further implementation of the verdict and NAB proceedings in the cases pertaining to their off-shore properties.
It is pertinent to note here that the Panamagate JIT formed on the orders of Supreme Court, in its final report, had said that Hussain Nawaz failed to produce any evidence or means establishing his personal capacity of meeting SAR 90.4 million equity requirements as his share in the sale proceeds of Al Azizia Steel Company fell well short of this requirement.
“Despite repeated requests, respondent No. 7 (Hussain Nawaz) didn’t produce the relevant corporate record so it is not possible to ascertain the legal status of HME whether it’s a sole proprietorship, partnership or a company limited by shares,” stated the JIT report.
On July 28, a bench of the apex court had disqualified Sharif for concealing his salary from a Dubai-based company.
Advocate Khuwaja Haris, the counsel of Nawaz Sharif, had filed 34-page long three appeals in reply to the petitions filed by Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid and Sirjul Haq, requesting the court to review its judgement. He contended that he had not hid his salary in his nomination papers for the 2013 polls – the ground on which he was disqualified for not being honest and trustworthy.
Under Article 188 of the Constitution, Sharif cannot be disqualified without a trial, petitions said.