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Zia fails to get access to clandestine Volume X of Panama JIT report

ISLAMABAD: Wajid Zia, head of the Panama Joint Investigation Team, submitted on Wednesday seven letters written to the UAE authorities under Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) in the accountability court hearing corruption cases against former premier Nawaz Sharif and members of his family. 

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law Capt (retd) Safdar appeared before the court as it resumed hearing of the Avenfield properties case.

Advocate Khawaja Harris, lead counsel of the Sharif family, resumed cross-examination of star witness  Wajid Zia in the case.

Zia submitted seven MLA letters which the JIT had written to the UAE Central Authority for International Cooperation for information about the establishment and disposal of the Sharif family’s mills there.

To a question, he said he had brought seven MLA letters and a copy of clandestine Volume X of the JIT report. Harris disputed his claim, saying he has not brought the volume, but MLA documents only.

Zai said he approached the apex court to get the volume in question, but he was provided with the MLAs only.

Earlier on Tuesday, the judge directed the JIT head to approach the Supreme Court registrar’s office for provision of Volume X of the Panama JIT report.

The Volume X pertains to the JIT’s correspondence with foreign countries for Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) for a probe into the Sharif family’s wealth.

Zia told the court that Volume X was sealed by the apex court on a request of JIT and could be de-sealed when an application is filed with the apex court.

To a query, he said JIT wrote seven letters under the MLA to the UAE authorities for cooperation and information regarding the establishment and disposal of the Sharif family’s Gulf Steel Mills and Ahli Steel Mills.

When the counsel contradicted his claim, saying it had written a few more letters, the JIT head said he had to check the record to ascertain this.

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