ISLAMABAD: The accountability court hearing the corruption cases against former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his family will rule today on his plea seeking clarity on what all can be submitted by the former Panama case probe team head Wajid Zia in the Avenfield properties case.
The request was submitted by Nawaz on March 20 when the court resumed hearing the Avenfield properties reference against Nawaz, daughter Maryam and son-in-law MNA Capt (retd) Safdar.
During the hearing, Zia, a serving additional director of the Federal Investigation Agency who headed the joint investigation team (JIT) which probed the Sharif family’s assets last year on the Supreme Court’s orders, resumed recording his statement and submitted several documents that are part of the JIT report.
Nawaz’s counsel objected to several of the documents submitted by Zia and sought clarity on what all Zia can present in court.
The counsel claimed the Zia cannot submit certain sections of the JIT report as they are either irrelevant to the case or contain analysis and opinion.
The prosecution opposed the plea after which the judge reserved his decision and is expected to announce it today.
The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had filed three interim corruption references against the Sharif family in September last year in light of the Supreme Court’s July 28 verdict in the Panama Papers case. The bureau recently filed supplementary references in all three cases as well.
The former JIT head has been recording his statement in the case since the last three hearings. He has also submitted in court several key documents that the JIT acquired during its probe into the Sharif family’s assets.
The trial against the Sharif family had commenced on September 14, 2017.
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.