Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Nawaz Sharif to appear before accountability court today

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ISLAMABAD: An accountability court to resume hearing into Al Azizia and Flagship corruption references filed against former premier, Nawaz Sharif, in light of the Supreme Court’s verdict in Panama Off-shore companies case on Monday (today).

The court proceedings will be headed by Judge Muhammad Arshad Malik. Nawaz Sharif is expected to appear before the court.

Elder Sharif did not appear before the court on Thursday (November 1) for an unexplained reason and his statement pertaining to Al-Azizia Steel Mill case could not be recorded according to section 342 in light of the questionnaire provided to him.

However, Sharif’s counsel Khawaja Harris continued cross-examination of the JIT head Wajid Zia. During the hearing, Mr. Zia also apprised the court that no documents were found which can prove his client [Nawaz Sharif] provided money for FIC.

“None of the witnesses said Sharif provided any sort of monetary assistance for Flagship Investment,” he continued. “Hasan Nawaz did not even say that his father gave money for it.”

During the proceedings on Wednesday (Oct 31), the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was allowed to leave the hearing due to protests against Asia Bibi’s acquittal in blasphemy case.

National Accountability Bureau (NAB) prosecutor Wasiq Malik informed the judge that the depositions of all prosecution witnesses have completed in the case. A total of 22 witnesses recorded their testimonies before the court in the Al-Azizia corruption reference.

The accountability court has until November 17 to wrap up the remaining two corruption references – Al-Azizia and Flagship Investments – against the Sharif family.

The Top Court had granted a final extension to the NAB Court earlier in the month of October, after its deadline to conclude the trials against the Sharifs had ended on October 7.

On July 6, an accountability court had sentenced Nawaz to a total of eleven years in prison and imposed a £8 million fine in the corruption reference.

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