ISLAMABAD: Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Safdar on Wednesday arrived at an accountability court to face trial in the graft references filed against them by National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Nawaz Sharif and his daughter arrived at the Islamabad airport from Lahore early Wednesday morning and were driven to the court in cavalcade.
As the trial proceedings resumed, the NAB prosecution team presented four more witnesses to testify against the Sharif family.
Judge Muhammad Bashir recorded the statements of Mohammad Rasheed, Mazhar Raza Khan Bangash, Sahbaz Haider Chaudhry and Tayyab in the Avenfiled flats reference. Subsequently, Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Haris cross-examined them.
At the previous hearing, the court granted Sharif exemption from personal appearance for seven days, whereas his daughter Maryam was exempted for a month.
Witness Sidra Mansoor of the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) recorded her statement in connection with the Avenfield properties reference. She will also testify in the Azizia Steel Company and Hill Metal Establishment references.
She submitted the SECP records, audited accounts and other relevant documents from the year 2000-2005 as well as details of Hussain and Hassan Nawaz’s shares in different companies.
A second prosecution witness Jehangir Ahmed, the commissioner Inland Revenue Lahore, also recorded his statement and was also cross-examined by the defence lawyer.
The former prime minister filed an application seeking exemption from personal appearance, contending that he wanted to travel to London to see his ailing wife who was to undergo chemotherapy. He requested the court to grant him exemption till Nov 27.
Whereas, Maryam requested the court to allow Jahangir Jadoon to represent her in case she is unable to appear before it.
The NAB prosecutor opposed their pleas, contending that neither of the accused person was ill and entitled to such relief. Thus, he requested that they should not exempted from the court hearing.
After hearing arguments, the bench allowed their applications, exempting Maryam for one month and her father for seven days from future court proceedings.
Maryam and her husband Captain (retd) Safdar have been named in a single corruption reference pertaining to the Sharif family’s London properties. Whereas, Sharif and his two sons – Hassan and Hussain – have been nominated in three references related to the London flats, Al-Aziza Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment.