Accountability Court records more testimonies against Sharif family

Source:  ARY News Published in Politics on Tuesday, December 19, 2017

ISLAMABAD: An accountability court on Tuesday resumed the hearing of the references filed against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, and members of his family by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Accountability Judge Muhammad Bashir recorded the statements of three more witnesses – Yasir Bashir in Azizia Steel Mills reference, Shakeel Anjum Nagra in Avenfield flats reference and Afaq Ahmed, an official of the Foreign Ministry, in Flagship reference.

Bashir, manager of a private bank, told the judge that various transactions took place between Maryam Nawaz and Hill Metal Establishment. Around Rs 60 million were transacted into her account from the company’s accounts, he said.

He said he had provided the NAB with verified copies of bank statements of Maryam Nawaz and Nawaz Sharif and found no anomalies in their accounts.

Meanwhile, witness Afaq Ahmed gave details about the letter Qatari Prince Hamad Bin Jasim had written to the JIT constituted to probe the Sharif family’s wealth.

Earlier, the former premier along with his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Safdar appeared before the court.

Sharif and his daughter arrived at Islamabad airport from Lahore this morning and were driven to the court amidst tight security and an extensive protocol. Whereas, Safdar reached the court separately.

So far eight witnesses have testified against the Sharif family in three references.

On Sunday, Sharif and his daughter returned from London. He was granted exemption from personal appearance before the court till Dec 11, whereas Maryam was exempted till Dec 15.

At the last hearing, Khawaja Haris, Sharif’s lawyer, cross-examined prosecution witness Malik Tayyab Ahmed.

Another witness NAB assistant director Adil Akhtar, had also testified against Sharif, his daughter and son-in-law retired Capt Safdar in the London flats reference, after which Haris cross-examined him.

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-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metals Establishment.

Hussain, Hassan declared proclaimed offenders

The court has declared Hassan Nawaz and Hussain Nawaz as proclaimed offenders after they failed to turn up before it for hearing into the references filed against them.

After they were declared as fugitives, testimonies were recorded under section 512 of the NAB Ordinance to proceed further against Sharif’s sons.

The court was told that bank accounts and assets of the duo had already been frozen.

In mid of November, the deadline for the Sharif sons to appear in court in connection with the Flagship Investments, Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Avenfield references ─ which also named Nawaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz and Captain Safdar ─ lapsed on Nov 10.

Hassan and Hussain failed to appear in court despite the issuance of a proclamation against them in October.

Similarly in October, an accountability court had declared Hussain and Hassan – absconders over their perpetual absence from the case proceedings.

Judge Muhammad Bashir granted the request of the NAB prosecutor who asked him to initiate proceedings to declare the absconding accused proclaimed offenders and order attachment of their properties.

The prosecutor said Hussain and Hassan have failed to appear before the court despite issuance of non-bailable warrants for their arrest.