Nawaz to reappear in court on Tuesday for remaining proceedings

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad accountability court on Monday directed incarcerated former premier Nawaz Sharif to appear before it again tomorrow for the hearing of remaining two corruption references against him and his family.

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Earlier today, Nawaz appeared before accountability court II Judge Mohammad Arshad Malik for hearing of Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references.

As the hearing resumed, Nawaz’s counsel cross-questioned Panamagate Joint Investigation Team (JIT) head and prosecution’s star witness Wajid Zia.

Zia informed the court that after consultations the JIT decided against sending questionnaires to witnesses of the suspects. Further, when asked if this point was part of the JIT report, Zia said it was not.

“During consultation on the Qatari prince’s letter we could not reach an agreement whether to visit Doha or not,” the prosecution’s star witness said.

“The matter was taken to the Supreme Court and we suggested two options whether we don’t visit Doha at all or we visit but don’t send the questionnaire in advance,” he continued.

To this, Harris remarked that the letter written to the SC did not mention that the JIT decided against sending questionnaires to witnesses.

“Was Irfan Mangi present at the meeting during which it was decided to not send questionnaires and did he mention that in NAB cases the questionnaires are sent beforehand?” Harris questioned.

Responding to Nawaz’s counsel, Zia said, “Mangi was present but mentioned no such thing.”

Further, when asked if he knows that questionnaires are sent beforehand in NAB cases, Zia said, “I’ve never worked in NAB so cannot comment. However, few members mentioned that some departments and FIA send questionnaires beforehand.”

The accountability court judge also questioned Zia and asked how many letters the Qatari prince wrote.

“The letters cannot be verified as the Qatari prince did not visit Pakistan nor did the JIT visit Doha,” the judge remarked.

Earlier today, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan ordered a six-week extension in the deadline for concluding the remaining two corruption references.

Judge Malik had submitted a written request to the Supreme Court seeking an extension to conclude the Al-Azizia and Flagship Investment references.

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