ISLAMABAD: Disqualified premier Nawaz Sharif’s counsel pleaded to the accountability court on Monday to record the proceedings of the Avenfield properties reference.
The request was made by Nawaz’s counsel Khawaja Haris when he resumed cross-examining the primary witness, Wajid Zia the head of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) responsible for providing evidence in the Panama Corruption scandal which imminently resulted in Nawaz Sharif’s ouster.
The case, based on a reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on the Supreme Court’s directions, pertains to the Sharif family’s London apartments.
Zia is being cross-examined since the last few hearings after having recorded his statement earlier over several weeks.
In his testimony today, Zia informed the court that the JIT’s probe was limited to the scope of documents.
Responding to Haris’ query, Zia stated that the JIT spoke to Nawaz’s brother Shehbaz Sharif and relative Tariq Shafi regarding the Gulf Steel Mills, adding that they also wrote to the Dubai authorities seeking details of the mills but no response was received.
Moreover, in response to Haris’ questions, Zia confirmed that neither Nawaz himself nor any witness claimed that the former premier remained associated with the Gulf Steel Mills or Ahli Steel Mills. Zia also asserted that there was no proof that Nawaz benefitted from the sale of 75 per cent shares of Gulf Steel Mills.
Wajid Zia completes recording statement in Avenfield reference against Sharifs.
The corruption references, filed against the Sharif family, pertain to the Al-Azizia Steel Mills and Hill Metal Establishment, offshore companies including Flagship Investment Ltd, and Avenfield properties of London.
Nawaz and sons Hussain and Hasan are accused in all three references whereas his daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar are accused in the Avenfield reference only.
The two brothers, based abroad, have been absconding since the proceedings began last year and were declared proclaimed offenders by the court.